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King Kong (2005) December 18, 2005

Posted by ayasawada in Film.

Is Peter Jackson the first great director of the 21st Century? Is he the first director to truly master the mix of story, character and special-effects that the modern day audience demands? Kong is quite simply outstanding. There hasn’t been a film like this since Jurassic Park, or maybe Indiana Jones or Star Wars. Kong has all of their adventure, but with far more depth. The strengths of the story were there since 1933: love, beauty, Hollywood and the cruelty of man. But Jackson teases them out with all that modern film-making offers.

The movie is cine-literate to a tee. It is ultra-accesible on every level, brimming with context, subtext, any number of themes, morals and big dumb action sequences. The special effects are incredible and the performances near-perfect. But what is most surprising is the emotion. You would never expect to be moved by a 25ft gorilla, except in the literal sense. But the film catches you unawares. What Jackson has realised is that, in a film with a big gorilla, it is what is unspoken that counts. His leads encapsulate this. Naomi Watts’ big blue eyes are hypnotic and who would have thought Jack Black could say so much by twitching his eyes back and forth?

I could criticise the number of throwaway characters (like the endlessly philosophising first mate – can this guy give the time without a soliloquay?). A cynic might also choke at the amount of syrupy emotion, but that’s classic 50s emotion. The best compliment is that the three hour, seven minutes running time doesn’t feel at all like it. And at no point do you get annoyed or impatient with another “Mr Frodo” moment. I’ll say it, this is even better than any of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Perhaps it’s because of the 20th century setting (albeit one with a giant gorilla), perhaps it’s just the classic storyline, perhaps it’s the bizarre mix of B-movie and romance that just turns out right. Or maybe one just can’t help but marvel at a giant ape and his surprising layers.



1. thebrideofthemonster - March 24, 2007

The original film is very astonishing. P. Jackson’s remake is good, he doesn’t destroy the first one, I had a good time on seeing it.

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