I read several media reviews, saw the commercials (which did worry me a bit), saw the IMDb ratings, & then fully expected to see a great blockbuster of a movie. Wrong! It was completely idiotic, poorly filmed (unless you like the "choppy is art" look), poorly edited, poorly computerized. The Fay Wray substitute (Naomi Watts) is homely & can't act. The Bruce Cabot substitute is completely miscast (Adrien Brody, an excellent actor, in an amazing casting coupe, probably accepted the role because it will be the only time in his career that he gets to play an action-hero!); Brody plays the part of a screen-writer (not a seaman, as Cabot did), & has the build of Ichabod Crane, but is capable of scaling a 300 foot rock cliff, etc. The Robert Armstrong substitute (as the film-maker) was one of the better aspects of this 2005 film. Even the special effects were not too good for the most part (the gorilla kept changing size & overall the film was much too cartoonish looking), although Kong was very well-done at times. Fully comparable to the 1976 version in most ways. Here's one of the funniest parts: Kong holds Watts in his hand, then proceeds to fight not one, not two, but three T- Rexes, with one hand!! He's impervious to their bites, doesn't bleed, & of course, handily wins the battle without once putting Watts down! Excessive? Yes! Appealing to the Video Game Generation? Of course! In another great comedy scene, a guy who has never used a machine gun before uses it to kill giant bugs who are attacking & attached to humans, without so much as nicking a human! And that's not even the unbelievable part; the unbelievable part is that he does it with his eyes closed! And this is described in certain circles as "more realistic" than the original! It closely copies scenes & plot devices from Jurassic Park, Spider Man, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, & several other films, but fails to meet the high standards of the films it copies. At the risk of seeming derivative, however, the one film it's hesitant to copy is the 1933 version of King Kong.
The overall drudgery of 187 minutes of highly repetitious material makes this a borderline intolerable experience. If Clockwork Orange were to be re-made, this would be the film they use to make the Malcolm McDowell character vomit on viewing it. I'm a big jungle movie fan, & I can safely say that King Kong 2005 ranks right up there with "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" & any Jungle Jim film, as one of the funniest jungle movies I've ever seen, but unfortunately, King Kong not played for laughs. In the days of Jungle Jim, we were supposed to believe that the guy in the gorilla suit was a real gorilla, no matter how little sense it made. Likewise, Director Jackson expects us to believe the most unbelievable & absurd scenarios. They could have saved a lot of money if they had just gotten the old gorilla suit out of mothballs.
In summary, for when it comes out on DVD, I recommend King Kong 2005 if you need to play a film in your DVD player while vacuuming the whole house & then painting three rooms with 12+ foot ceilings (without a ladder or paintbrush extension), or mowing your lawn with a hand clipper (you'll get back inside in time to see the ending), or even while preparing & eating dinner in a different room (preferably at a friend's house out-of-state). Other than that, a big waste of your money & a bigger waste of your time.
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