KING KONG (2005)
Directed by Peter Jackson
Screenplay by Fran Walsh & Phillippa Boyens & Peter Jackson
Story by Merian C. Cooper & Edgar Wallace
Film history is going be made with the release of King Kong (2005). Not only because it is the answer to the trivia question, “what is the best remake?” but also because Peter Jackson has made the film that is destined to become the new, worldwide box-office champ. It is everything that Titanic was and more. It’s filled with breath-taking action, thrilling adventure, marvelous special effects, yet at its core it succeeds where Titanic failed by creating believable characters and an amazing story that will tug at your heartstrings. Forget gay cowboys; this is a love story for the ages
I don’t know how it’s possible, but for those that don’t know the story, producer, Carl Denham, puts together a film crew and sets out aboard a freighter to shoot on location on Skull Island, a mysterious tropical island. The film crew disembarks and begins shooting. The island isn’t as deserted as expected and the natives capture actress Ann Darrow and offer her up as a sacrifice to Kong, a giant ape, who becomes smitten with her. The crew rescues her, but some lose their lives in the process. Kong chases after the men to reclaim Darrow. With his film ruined, the enterprising Denham comes up with a way to salvage his losses. They capture Kong and bring him back to New York to put on display on Broadway. Kong breaks free and goes on a rampage. The doomed love affair ends tragically.
The 1933 version has attained legendary status. Jackson’s version is a loving tribute to that movie and movies in general. Jackson and his team pull out all the stops to create a film that is worthy and deserving to be called King Kong. It will become a legend as well because it excels in all areas of production.
Jackson takes his time with the story, establishing characters and relationships that the audience cares about. Kong doesn’t even appear until about 45 minutes in. The actors do a great job bringing these people to life; however, the best performance in the film is by Kong. He is brought to life in much the same way as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. He is performed by Andrew Serkis and completed by a team of brilliant craftspeople and technicians.
I could go on ad infinitum praising all aspects of the film from the set and costumes that accurately capturing the look of the ‘30s to the excellent sound and editing, but everyone involved with the film’s production should be acknowledged, so stay and watch the entire list of credits. Don’t take my word for it; take the world’s. Everything positive you hear will be true. Anything negative is a lie by someone trying, and failing, to look cool.
King Kong is so good that not only will you want to relive the experience like a child racing back onto a roller coaster once he gets off, but you will want to bring everyone you know back with you because it needs to be seen in a theatre with an audience. The action scenes are exhilarating and so intense that they will leave you worn out emotionally and physically. Find the biggest screen and best sound system near you and see it there.
Jackson and his team have put everyone on notice on how to make a movie. And I don’t just mean the hacks whose parents are in the business or those that have garnered movie deals because they were able to complete a three-minute music video or a 30-second commercial. I’m talking the big boys and hot shots of Hollywood. Spielberg, Tarantino and especially Lucas are exposed for the frauds that they have become and taken to the woodshed.
This film has revealed two kings: Kong as the king of the jungle and Jackson as the king of directors. You will never see movies the same way again, and thankfully so.