King Kong (DVD, 2006, Anamorphic Widescreen) Reviews
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King Kong (DVD, 2006, Anamorphic Widescreen)

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King Kong - Most Disappointing Movie Release of 2005

Dec 20, 2005 (Updated Jan 23, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:special effects, 2nd hour

Cons:first and last hour, TOO LONG

The Bottom Line: Peter Jackson will still win awards for this, yet it's such a disappointment.


Peter Jackson took the world by a blazing storm with his masterful Lord of the Rings movies. So when I heard that he was directing a remake of the 1930’s classic King Kong, I began to look forward to it very much. The hype for Peter Jackson’s remake began to grow in massive amounts in the months leading up to its worldwide December 14 release. So why did it suck so much? King Kong is the most disappointing movie release of 2005, and I’m not going to beat around the bush because Peter Jackson was the director. Jackson earned a lot of respect with the Lord of the Ring movies, but he tried to turn King Kong into a 3 hour epic. It worked for The Return of the King, but after the 2 hour mark, things got old – fast.

I’m going to say it straight out, it takes a good forty-five minutes to an hour for the movie to get any good. This first segment of the movie introduces the characters, and the events that lead up to King Kong himself. When Carl Denham’s (Jack Black) wildlife video was threatened to be cut up and sold in pieces, he decides that he’s going to leave to finish his movie. With barely any money, he has to find a girl that fits the role that he’s looking for perfectly. This is where Ann Darrow (Namoi Watts, man is she gorgeous) comes in. She loves theatre, and she walks around with a flashing aurora of beauty. When Carl notices Ann as he’s hanging around outside of a girl’s show club, he chases after her to ask her for the part.

The first third of the movie is pretty boring, and some of it really wasn’t necessary at all. After Carl and his film crew set-off on a ship captained by the rugged Englehorn (Thomas Kretschmann), it isn’t until it is too late to turn around that Captain Englehorn learns of Carl’s intended destination, a mysteriously uncharted island. Carl believes that it will be the perfect place to film the rest of his movie, though he seems to be the only one that’s confident about the success of the film. The ship sails into heavy fog, and ends up crashing into some high rocks that happen to be off the coast of the eerie island. When Carl and his team row a boat up to shore and make their way deeper into the island, they stumble into what looks like an ancient city. After a quarrel with a group of savages, they eventually get to the ship and begin to set sail. The savages sneak onto the ship and kidnap Miss Darrow, which Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) notices and takes off towards the island to rescue her.

As the savages chant a ritual, Ann is tied to a long wooden ladder like structure and is lowered down to the other side of a cliff. Ann’s being given as a sacrifice… but to who, or – what? Finally, we get to see the gigantic ape himself. What, almost two hours later? The time in the jungle is exciting and full of action, including a Kong vs. Dinosaur gang up that was pretty exciting, but so much of the movie was just filler, and boring, much like the first part of this review. Seeing a pattern here? Peter Jackson tried to turn King Kong into an epic in the scope of the Lord of the Rings, but came up incredibly short. Most of the time in the jungle was good. The whole girl and ape staring into each others eyes while the camera pans around to make the audience feel a connection between the two got old real quick. I understand the importance of it, but when they do it 50 times during the movie, and sometimes for more than 2 minutes, it gets BORING. The special effects are of course really great, but that’s about the extent of great that Peter Jackson managed to achieve in Kong’s 2005 adventure.

Another thing, as funny as Jack Black is, he just isn’t meant for such a serious role. I think that he added a lot of humor to Carl’s character, and he managed to do well with some laughs here and there. Even with those laughs though, he came up short in providing any kind of award winning act. Serious just isn’t in his nature. Naomi Watts and Adrien Brody did the most impressive jobs in King Kong by a long shot. They were able to get into their characters and actually make things believable, even though a few scenes while they are on the boat in the first third of the movie are kind of cheesy (once again too much time is spent panning around as they stare into each other’s eyes).

King Kong came in at over 3 hours. That’s an hour and some minutes longer than what it should have been. Cut out all the filler, the stupid and annoying emotional camera pan arounds, and Jackson would have had a real killer movie. The first and last hours of the film were boring, filler material, but the middle of the film is a fun-filled, and action packed adventure. Do yourself a favor; wait for it to come on video so you can rent it to make your own judgment if it’s worth the money or not. Right now, the majority love it. You decide.

It was Beauty... that killed the beast...

Can you say cheesy?


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