In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.
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Carl Denham needs to finish his movie and has the perfect location; Skull Island. But he still needs to find a leading lady. This 'soon-to-be-unfortunate' soul is Ann Darrow. No one knows what they will encounter on this island and why it is so mysterious, but once they reach it, they will soon find out. Living on this hidden island is a giant gorilla and this beast now has Ann is its grasps. Carl and Ann's new love, Jack Driscoll must travel through the jungle looking for Kong and Ann, whilst avoiding all sorts of creatures and beasts. But Carl has another plan in mind.Written by
(at around 2h 30 mins) When Kong is chasing Jack Driscoll, you see a shot of an alleyway with a woman in white walking across the alleyway. The camera cuts to the opposite end of the alley, and the woman has disappeared. See more »
That's a funny one. Isn't that funnier?
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The end credits are set against an art deco backdrop rather than the traditional black screen. The backdrop is an exact replica, in Technicolor, of the same backdrop that was used for the opening credits in the 1933 version of "King Kong". See more »
On November 14, 2006, an extended edition DVD was released, with 13 minutes of additional scenes edited back into the film. Denham's party is attacked by a Ceratops immediately upon entering the jungle to rescue Ann, and by a giant fish while on rafts on a river, after which they kill a giant bird while firing blindly into the jungle (the longest addition by far). Baxter's rescue of the party is extended, and finishes with Jimmy's farewell to Hayes. Kong's pursuit of the party on Skull Island and his pursuit of Driscoll in NYC are slightly extended, and there are two brief additional encounters between Kong and the military in NYC. A complete breakdown is at http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=3550. See more »
Is this movie good? Yes and no. It is very good in parts, such as the Skull Island sequence which is so long it is almost a film in itself. Also, it is very bad in parts, such as the long beginning which starts with a bang showing vivid images of the Great Depression, even though most of the songs used are from the Jazz Age of the 1920's, but is dragged out until it becomes one big bore with the viewer kept waiting to see the star of the show, King Kong. And the film is also ho-hum in parts. The death of Kong is strung out so long that it becomes overly gushy and sentimental. Certainly the original 1933 feature handles the "It was beauty killed the beast" in a much nobler way.
First, the good parts. The fierce natives of Skull Island are amongst the most horrendous creatures ever put on celluloid. When they go into a trance when attempting to sacrifice Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) to the giant ape, their dilated eyes and eerie shaking send cold chills through the body. The most frightening piece of footage is when Carl Denham (Jack Black) tries to appease an aboriginal youngster by offering a piece of chocolate. It at first seems reminiscent of pictures seen hundreds of times of American GI's in World War II giving candy to starving children in war-torn Europe. This peace offering turns out entirely different and the viewer may just have nightmares about it. I am reminded of the Zuni hunting fetish doll that comes alive in the most frightening TV movie ever made, "Trilogy of Terror."
I was disappointed with Jack Black's performance. He has done so well before the camera up to this point. He is miscast as the shady, overly enthusiastic would-be producer exploiter who promotes Kong in New York City leading to the famed Empire State Building scene. Though he looks the part originally played by Robert Armstrong he is unable to make the role believable. Actually Black is a better actor than Armstrong was. Yet the part of Carl Denham fit Armstrong perfectly so not much acting was required of him.
Peter Jackson shows his skills as an action director by the well done Skull Island mini-movie. That he needs to hone his skills in presenting erotica to a general audience is obvious. Fay Wray's Ann Darrow exudes sensuality. Her abbreviated costume that King Kong proceeds to slowly rip apart to reveal more of her luscious body provides a more sexual interpretation of her relationship to the big ape. On the other hand, Naomi Watts, who could be even sexier than Fay Wray, is left in the lurch by Jackson. There is little of a sexual nature in her scenes with Kong. Their relationship becomes more of a romantic, "someone to watch over me" type attachment. Instead of Freud we get Harlequin.
Jackson does throw in a few clever lines from time to time which helps break the tension, in particular in the scene where the rescue party first sees Kong's footprints. The party puzzles over what kind of creature made the enormous footprint. One of the party members, Lumpy the Cook (Andy Serkis), indicates that he knows. "There's only one creature in the world that could have done this..." All eyes and ears are upon him. He continues, "The Abominable Snowman."
Overall, this second remake of the classic 1933 Merian C. Cooper "King Kong" pales by comparison. But this one is good enough to bear a second watching. I want to see those devil natives again.
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