Thursday, December 15, 2005

Jackson's 'King Kong': Flawed but brilliant

The world of Middle Earth exists in the minds and hearts of those who have read and loved J.R.R. Tolkein's fantasy masterpiece - and Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy captured its spirit as well as it probably ever will be. The films are an awesome homage to the source material and a fabulous entertainment - but watching the three movies is not quite as thrilling as reading the original adventures.

I have to say the same applies to Jackson's latest triumphant adaptation, King Kong. This is a magnificent film, an awesome homage to the 1933 classic, and a fabulous entertainment - but as much as I wanted it to be, it is not quite as thrilling as the immortal source material.

Don't get me wrong: You have to run, not walk, to the theater and see King Kong as soon as you can. This is one great theatrical experience. Jackson even improves on the original in one major way: The bond between Ann Darrow (played spectacularly by Naomi Watts) and the big ape has never been portrayed as realistically. It's not a sensual or sexual love these two share - anyone who has ever bonded with a pet or other animal will recognize the love between Ann and Kong.

But Jackson loves the story so much he can't let it go. The movie is about a half-hour too long. It takes too long to get to Skull Island (there are a few too many scenes depicting what a long voyage it is), and it takes too long to get off Skull Island (there are a small handful too many close encounters with icky creatures, they finally grow repetitive, and one scene involving a machine gun and giant insects is simply ludicrous). Only the final act in New York City left me completely spellbound and not shifting in my seat. It's a film begging for a more brutal editor - but the good stuff more than makes up for the clunky scenes.

This is a hell of a film.


Blogger Wally Conger said...

I'm looking forward to seeing it...maybe this weekend. I've heard others agree with you about the length, though. One reviewer said this is like the "extended cut" you'd expect from Jackson on DVD. We're just getting it early.

9:50 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home