Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Thoughts on the King Kong remake - two years after the fact

Being at my wits' end already during this summer television hiatus, I was flipping through channels and came across Peter Jackson’s very good King Kong remake. I’d forgotten how much I liked this movie when I saw it in the theater (Captain Engelhorn and Bruce Baxter are so very pretty!). The CGI effects for some reason don’t translate quite so well to the small screen, but even so, Kong is the coolest. Andy Serkis did such an incredible job as the big guy; I understand he studied live gorillas for months to learn their behaviors and expressions. Kong is clearly the hero of the film: fierce, lonely, sulky, funny, protective, confused and ultimately victimized. The Kong vs. the three T. Rexes scene is great fun. And Naomi Watts completely commits to her character; watching her go from being terrified of Kong, to accepting him as her protector, to realizing his loneliness is believable and touching.

I turned the movie off after the T. Rex battle though, when Ann falls asleep in Kong’s hand as the sun goes down – I wanted to stop before the sad part began. I just couldn’t watch it again. Carl Denham is the Big Bad here, ripping Kong out of his jungle and exploiting him just because he can. Typical human behavior: wanting to control and destroy nature. Kong’s rampage in NYC and his subsequent violent death were never his fault. I remember walking out to my car after seeing this movie for the first time and being a little choked up. Imagine - teary-eyed over a brutal, fictional 25+-foot tall CGI gorilla!

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