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.
A giant, reptilian monster surfaces, leaving destruction in its wake as it strides into New York City. To stop it, an earthworm scientist, his reporter ex-girlfriend, and other unlikely heroes team up to save their city.
At an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra, an American serving in the French Foreign Legion accidentally awakens a mummy who begins to wreck havoc as he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love.
As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
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 the very end of the closing credits, the movie is dedicated to "The original explorers of Skull Island..." followed by the names of the actors and actresses who played major roles in the 1933 original. See more »
At 46 minutes into the film, when the "Venture", having changed course for Rangoon, goes into a heavy fog bank, the crew is shown as fearful, sensing something wrong. The camera focuses on individual crew members, one by one. When the camera shows Jamie Bell (as "Jimmy" the stowaway), he is sitting on a landing, feet braced against a railing, reading his stolen copy of Conrad's "Heart of Darkness". The shot clearly shows the sole of his boot against the railing as having a deeply lugged Vibram® rubber sole. This type of rubber sole was not invented and patented until 1937, and was designed for mountain climbers, so even had Vibram-soled boots been around in 1933, it is highly unlikely that a deckhand like the character Jimmy would have been able to acquire or afford a pair. See more »
That's a funny one. Isn't that funnier?
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At the end of the closing credits: "This film is dedicated with love and respect to the original adventurers of Skull Island: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Willis H. O'Brien, Max Steiner, Robert Armstrong and ... the incomparable Fay Wray. They continue to inspire all those who follow in their footsteps." 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 »
Don't get me wrong here, I liked this film. It was spectacular, it had considerable emotional resonance, it wasn't a travesty.
Of course in reality a 25ft silverback gorilla would collapse under its own weight, and in many ways that's what has happened to the movie.
As others have noted, it is on the long side and would have benefited from resolute scissoring throughout. Just because you have the resources to show a 10-minute dinosaur stampede doesn't mean you actually have to do it, particularly when a 30-second scene would have told the story just as well. Throughout the movie, time is stretched in order to fit in all the effects - at one point several minutes pass between someone being struck by a spear and hitting the ground.
In addition I remain unconvinced by CGI generally. OK, this probably looks better than any other CGI movie so far, but I don't think we're in any danger of confusing it with reality yet. Rather, we have a spectacular and detailed cartoon.
It's ironic that while one of the central characters here is a combination of PT Barnum-style showman and Werner-Herzog-type visionary obsessive taking his cameras into the jungle, this "King Kong" itself is as far away from Herzogian 'realism' as it's possible to get. Not only do the CGI effects themselves (with the exception of Kong's facial expressions) fail to convince, the filmmakers also have people surviving unsurvivable falls, hanging onto logs and creepers in conditions where any human being would fall, etc. I know this is a Hollywood action movie staple, but it still jolts me out of any suspension of disbelief. OK, CGI is the only way we can have dinosaurs or giant gorillas, but keeping things as real as possible otherwise would help no end with the human side of the story.
Any time a film-maker puts a film-maker into his story it's necessary to consider the relationship between the two. On the one hand we have the studio-bound CGI-nerd making a movie about a seat-of-the-pants explorer-director. On the other we have the "showman" side of Carl Denham, as Driscoll points out, destroying that very "wonder" he sets out to capture by reducing it to vulgar spectacle. You have to ask yourself if that resonance wasn't at least in Jackson's mind when he wrote the theatre scene.
On the plus side, all the themes of the original are here and amplified, from the "we are the real monsters" (with added "Heart of Darkness" reference), through strong hints of ecological parable, to the genuinely tragic love of Kong for Darrow which leads directly to his capture and eventual downfall. The sadness in his eyes throughout is something to behold - as the last of his species he is doomed in any event, ironically it is his compassion which hastens his demise.
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