MOVIE REVIEW: King Kong (by Peter Jackson) — The Real Monsters Are The Ones Who Made This Movie

[As promised in last night’s blog, it’s my first retro post! Appearing exactly as I wrote it over 5 years ago in my immature writing style as a young adult, my review of Peter Jackson’s “masterpiece”, King Kong!]

The Good:

–The special effects and camera work are beau–Awww, what the hell. Anyone reading this knows when I start talking about how good the special effects in anything are, I’m just pretending to look for positive aspects so my review doesn’t seem lopsided. So yeah–it’s pretty. It’ll make over $100 million dollars because of that. That’s all 90% of moviegoers care about anyway. Looks.

The Bad:

–Everything else. No, seriously. EVERYTHING else.

–This movie is 3 hours long. Why so long? One reason is because the first hour plus of the movie is spent developing characters. This is typically a good thing–but not in this movie. Not only do the vast majority of the characters have no depth or complexity, but many of the characters have time spent on them and are simply dropped. One of the top-ranking members of the crew is looking after a young man on the ship and trying to convince him to get an education and a better life. They come back to this subplot several times, so you might think they’re going somewhere with it. But surprise! You would be WRONG. Actually, the young man is dropped once they leave the island and never seen or mentioned again, in spite of the fact that his mentor sacrifices his life to save the young man. Why bother including him in the first place, then? Simple–because this movie lacks all logic…

–The story lacks all logic. It’s so ridiculous in some places that it’s just ludicrous.

Example #1: Once the men knock out Kong, they plan to bring him back to New York. But how can this be accomplished when all they have is tiny row boats to reach their main ship with? And how will they lift Kong onto the main ship, anyway? And for that matter, how will the damaged ship which they had to jettison all weight from just to get it upright again be able to move with a several ton gorilla on it? And how are they going to feed Kong for months while sailing back to New York? And what’s their plan to keep him knocked out for those months, when it took 3 giant jars of chloroform to put him out the first time? Don’t worry about anything like that, dear viewers–because once Kong is knocked out on the island they cut away and the next scene magically starts off with Kong already in New York as part of an exhibition.

"Stay Away From Mah Woman."

Example #2: A T-Rex is eating a dinosaur he’s just killed that probably weighs well over a ton. He sees the bimbo chick walking around, and suddenly says “The hell with this big dinosaur I’m eating, I -MUST- eat this skinny 120-pound woman!” The T-Rex becomes obsessed with eating this chick and ends up getting in a big fight with Kong to try to eat her. But it gets better! TWO MORE T-Rexes show up and are hellbent on eating this skinny little broad. Why? Because then Kong can kill three T-Rexes at once and look like one badass mofo! The most ludicrous moment is when Kong and the T-Rexes are tangled in some vines hanging over a giant abyss. The insane T-Rex starts swinging around in the vines trying to get at the bimbo, -STILL- obsessed with eating her. The idea that the apex predator on the island needs to sacrifice his life fighting Kong trying to eat some dumb chick to survive when there are hundreds of dinosaurs hanging around that it could easily kill and eat is just silly.

Example #3: There are these evil, satanic natives on the island. Seriously, they’re like LSD-laced crackwhores. They see the movie crew on the island, and immediately set out to massacre them. The crew escapes to the ship, but the natives kidnap the movie’s starring bimbo.  The crew has already suffered losses and know that they’ll probably all die if they go back, but they end up going back ashore anyway to get the chick. However, once the natives give the chick to Kong, they disappear and are never seen again. They don’t die, and they don’t attack the ship or its crew anymore–they simply cease to be, even though the crew hangs out on the island for over a day. Meanwhile, virtually the entire crew die horrible deaths because for some reason, they’re infatuated with this babe so much that they don’t care if they all die to rescue her.I suppose Peter Jackson’s motto when making this film must have been–“Who cares if the story doesn’t make sense when I have pretty special effects to make people think they’ve seen something great?!”

–There’s much more, but if I wrote down every bad part of this movie, I’d never finish. So let’s move on to the REALLY bad parts…

The Ugly:

–The camera was kind’ve wonky, but I swear I saw Kong break a T-Rex’s neck, rip its head off, and bash another T-Rex in the skull with the severed T-Rex head, knocking the T-Rex off a cliff.

–Kong gets out on the ice in Manhattan and slides around on it, almost ice skating. Or maybe it’s supposed to be a little dance. I really don’t know. But this is the big “romance” scene with Kong and the bimbo. Peter Jackson romanticizes Kong so much in this movie, I can’t help but feel he wishes he could be the broad Kong is obsessed with…

"Well, you're the only female of any species on this island, so I guess you'll have to do..."

"Well, you're the only female of any species on this island, so I guess you'll have to do..."

–The Chick. Okay, she’s not really ugly, but her part is ludicrous. This chick can’t even get a role in a crappy play to feed herself when the movie begins, but suddenly she’s so ravishing on the island that the crew, Kong, and the dinosaurs become hopelessly bewitched by her and all are willing to die for her. In fact, virtually every character DOES die for her alleged beauty. And what does this wonderous queen bring to the table that makes essentially every male in existence fall head over heels for her? Well, she can pantomime and… juggle. Cut me a break.

–The dinosaurs. No, really–they’re ugly, especially the T-Rexes. The animation on them is great, but they look flagrantly inaccurate. Worse, their behavior is a joke. A mob of giant sauropods stampede away from three little raptor-looking dinos. Do the sauropods even try to defend themselves?? Nope! The frenzied sauropods are so stupid, they all run off cliffs and commit suicide. Why? I suspect it’s because the raptors threatened to make them watch this movie.

–I saved the best for last. This island not only has Satanic tribal psychopaths, giant apes, and tons of dinosaurs–it also has DEVIL-BEASTIES!!! That’s right, giant centipedes bigger than golden retrievers, spiders the size of cows, and crynoids the size of king-sized beds! And all these ker-azzy bugs have two things in common: 1) They can’t wait to eat some nice, juicy humans; and 2) They’re all weak to the machine guns that the humans are luckily equipped with. The beasties get slaughtered, but at least the poor crynoids get to eat one guy’s legs, arms, and head all at the same time. This is truly the island from Hell. It’s a shame that the crew didn’t land on an island with some nice raccoons or something…

The Verdict: The moral of this movie is allegedly that Kong isn’t the monster–that the real monster is man. Unfortunately, I don’t find that to be fitting for this movie. As far as I’m concerned, the real monsters are the ones who made this shitty movie.

Grade: F

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