Thursday, December 15, 2005

King Kong 

You know, not many people are aware of this, but the title "King Kong" is inspired by my nuts. True story. Bad case of gigantism.



Okay, then...

Yeah, so the movie is pretty good while falling pretty short of great. A slimmer cut running anywhere from a shade over two hours to two and a half would've yielded, I believe, just as much entertainment if not more. No reason this movie had to be over three hours. But then, Peter Jackson can do anything he wants now, so who is going to stop him? Not me. Because I can't.

The Kong is a spectacle. A popcorn flick in the truest sense. I was lucky enough to see it in the Cineramadome at Arclight -- for my money, the only way to watch a movie whose star is a 25-foot ape. Incredible visual effects and some really fantastic set pieces. High points for me were discovering skull island and the T-Rex fight. Well... most of the T-Rex fight. It, like just about every other sequence in the movie, ran a bit long. But it is mostly forgivable because while you're watching, all you can think is, "Wow! This is awesome." It isn't until the fourth (fifth? sixth?) leg of the fight that you start to wonder, "Man, how much more is there?" The T-Rex battle -- and much of this movie, for that matter -- are strongly reminiscent of Hulk, a movie I quite enjoyed, although it was unfortunately marketed incorrectly as an action flick (it's a drama, people). Only the battle in Kong is handled far better. The love story on the other hand? Not so much. I mean, hey, there are some incredibly tender, genuine, romantic moments in this film between Naomi Watts and Kong (the Central Park scene, for example), but their love is completely ridiculous! Where does she think this is going? There can only be one outcome from the start! At least the Hulk is human. King Kong will always be King Kong! And that's pretty much King Kong in a nutshell: amazing spectacle, as you're watching it, deteriorates into silliness when thinking about it. All of the characters are pretty misguided, but the performances are strong across the board. I thought Watts was excellent, actually, even though her character is non-sensically irrational.

One side plot that could've been cut and that nobody (NOBODY) would have missed is Jimmy and the Mystical Black Sailor. It's not even the latter's fault. It just happens to be that Jimmy (played by Jamie Bell, who I like) is just so worthless. His presence and storyline don't pay off at all. Really, while on the island, it felt like the side characters were just extras. "We need some casualties, but don't want to kill anyone off. Okay, now what if we give them backstory? That could add 30 minutes... I like it!" Another scene prime for the chopping block was the pit full of giant, killer bugs. It was really gross, very unsettling, and... yeah, I guess that's it. We just needed more people of no consequence to die, so here it is. The brontosaurus stampede, mind you, has to stay, but there isn't any reason it couldn't be half as long as it is. And by "half as long" I mean "ten minutes." That sequence devolved from cool, to long, to ludicrous, to stupid. Adrien Brody, in mid-sprint, punches a raptor in the face, people! He totally goes Keenan Ivory Wayans/Most Wanted on it. Hilarious.

Flawed in logic and length as it is, the only way to see Kong is on the biggest screen possible. Really, it is good and quite breathtaking as you're watching it. Just try not to let all that sensibility into your head and you'll be fine.

One question I do have that is of little consequence: How the hell do they get Kong to New York? You're telling me 8-10 people are going to be able to haul a 25-foot, who knows how many tons gorilla onto a battered boat and sail aaaaaaaaall the way back to NYC without Kong's weight serving as a million anchors??? Okay...

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