King Kong
Reviewed by Diane Goettel
Starring Naomi Watts, Adrian Brody, and Jack BlackDirected by Peter Jackson
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The best part of King Kong is the trailers. To recap: The previews
show a few frames of old-school New York City, the beautiful Miss Watts dashing about in tattered silks, the gorgeous and wild landscape of Kong Island, a few teaser frames of the beast himself, and then, to cap it all off, a clip from an interview with Jack Black where he drops his tousled head into his hands and says, "It's going to be so AWESOME." Some critics feel that Peter Jackson has actually trumped his Tolkien trilogy with King Kong. In terms of creating amazing sets and creatures, I would agree that this movie is on par with the Lord of
the Rings films. Unfortunately, the story is just not as good. In
reality, the movie has a choppy plot with poor transitions and an
unconvincing love story between Naomi Watts and Adrian Brody.
Furthermore, it is incredibly long. I went to see this movie with my
boyfriend on a Sunday afternoon, and by the time we got home it was
midnight. Just kidding. But, at three hours and seven minutes, I did
have the sense that I had traveled to Kong Island and back. Thank
goodness we got the BIG bucket of popcorn. I was happy to walk out of the theater and back to the streets of my beloved Brooklyn.
In defense of the movie, Kong the gorilla is absolutely magnificent. His body, face, hands, and fur were created with masterful details. Furthermore, he is afforded a great range of emotions which are articulated through fist-thumping anger, tender and inquisitive facial expressions, and almost human grumbles and grunts. Unfortunately, not all of the characters residing on Kong Island are  afforded such complete personalities. One of the most detrimental aspects of the movie is the poor character development of the people who live in the rocky perimeter of the island. They are crimson-eyed, babbling, grey-skinned savages who immediately fall upon the voyagers in wild, hissing violence and then offer up the young ingénue to the will of a supersized gorilla. I felt sympathy for these people. Carl Denham (Mr.Tenacious D) and his traveling companions invade THEIR island with no peace offering — just some reels of film and an obscene sense of entitlement. If someone came into my apartment with those props, I would probably see red and start speaking in tongues as well. And you'd better believe that I would offer them up to any crazy monster that I had handy.

If it is eye candy that you are after, then treat yourself to King Kong and an armload of concession snacks. (Remember, you will have to miss at least one meal to see this movie.) The journey that Brody, Black, and the ship hands make through the gorgeous, overgrown interior of the island is full of intense beasts and terrifying slithering things. If you are looking for an interesting, well-developed plot with an enticing love story, then go to see Brokeback Mountain, which is also incredibly beautiful, but in a quieter way.
Black Lawrence Press
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