King Kong

Posted by Mike Merritt in Movies on

I went out to see King Kong with my mom tonight, and I must say that I thought it was awesome. I’ve read some reviews by people who thought that it was nothing more than a CGI animator’s dreamworld, and that it had no storyline, but I disagree. I’m cutting this because of length, but beware of spoilers.

This version of Kong has no less storyline than did the 1933 and 1975 versions. It’s obviously there: film crew goes to island, girl gets kidnapped by giant ape, they fall and love (or, at the very least, Kong does), except that the girl knows it is an impossible relationship, but still grows to develop some kind of intimate closeness to Kong. Also of course there’s that whole thing about the greedy filmaker-turned-exhibitionist. So, how is there no storyline?

As I mentioned, one of the other big complaints I saw was about the CGI animation. Although I’m inclined to agree that it is perhaps starting to grow invasive into areas that could still probably be better covered by the real things, the arguments here seem to be similar to those made about the Star War prequals. I don’t think they computer-aided sets took away from the story a bit. Even with all the CGI, I believe the story was told very well.

However, I don’t think the movie was flawless. I thought there was one too many oversized monsters here. Apart from Kong himself, we had giant spiders, centipedes and other insects, what looked like a blown up version of a leech (I still can’t decide what they were). And that’s only the animals at the bottom of the pit. We also has the stampeding long-necked dinosaurs, what looked to be raptors, and not one, but two T-Rexes. I’m not counting the weird tooth dino, which I’m not sure was a T-Rex. Oh, and the bats. A good part of the film was spent running away from and Kong killing beasts of mass destruction. I thought there could have been less of that.

My only other major concern isn’t as major as too many monsters. I just thought Jack Black tried too hard to be goofy in this movie. On the other hand, I like how he portrayed a seemingly good intentioned chap who suddenly found himself with a lot of dollar signs in his eyes. For someone who’s done mostly comedies, I thought he pulled that off nicely.

Overall, the movie was excellent, and it’s easy to see why. Part of it has to do with Peter Jackson. This isn’t a director who signs on to a job for the money. Instead, the man clearly develops a vision of what he wants to see, and then goes and makes his vision come true. I read that he’s been wanting to do this movie since 1996, but Universal wouldn’t let him do it at the time. In the end, he got his vision completed. It’s like with Lord of the Rings; he had a vision for the type of series he wanted to see, and then he brought it forth.

Alright, I think my review is done. It turned out longer than I had originally intended, which is interesting, since I had no idea what to write when I first started at 4:20:43 AM.

One Comment







Karl Elvis

You know, I don’t think Black tried to be goofy. I think goofy is his default state, he has to try to not be goofy. So what you’re seeing in this film is Black’s anti-goofy muscles flexed to maximum capacity. I wouldn’t have cast him in this film, but I think he did a really good job.

I liked the extended action-film portion of the movie. I think Jackson needed the time to establish Kong and Ann’s characters, and to do justice to his tribte to classic action films. He *c ould* have done it quicker, but why? It wouldn’t have been any better if he shortened it, it would not have improved pacing or cut lulls, which are the usual reasons I think movies should be made shorter.

While in general, I agree that CGI is ouut of control and most movies that use it would be better without it, in this case, it takes on an artistic quality that’s bigger than life. You could not do this film without it, because this film needs to not look real.

Oh, and I like the LJ authentication. I think I’m gonna use that on my blog. You should also check out MTLJPOST, which cross-posts your MT posts to LJ.