Anthony's Film Review
King Kong (2005)
A marvelous cinematic remake with the magic touch of a brilliant director...
Here is yet another film that is a newer version of an older film. It is also another example of a film where I have not seen the original prior to the remake. For the most part, however, this film does not require comparisons between it and its predecessor. The original King Kong from 1933 and this new 2005 remake with Lord of the Rings' Peter Jackson in the director's chair aren't too different from each other. Comparing the two in this review would be redundant and waste the space I need to tell you how awesome this movie is.
The first part of the film takes place in New York in the year 1933 where three characters will eventually come together. Naomi Watts is Ann Darrow, the aspiring actress who will eventually be the damsel in distress as well as in love. Jack Black plays filmmaker Carl Denham with a desire to produce a spectacular film. Adrien Brody is Jack Driscoll, a playwright. The three come together when Carl casts Ann for the lead role in his movie and Jack attempts to write a script for it. They sail on a ship towards a mysterious island that will ultimately be a shooting location.
That's when the exciting and suspenseful adventure starts. From the approach to the island to the hideous living things that dwell there, the principal characters and the ship's crew face a lot of danger. The shots done with these scenes are superb. I really was engrossed in the numerous special effects shots, because there is no line between the real actors and the computer-generated graphics. One of my favorite scenes involves a stampede of dinosaurs with the characters running with and even underneath these creatures. It's a great scene for the same reason I like the other action scenes: it isn't too short, it isn't too long, and there's heart-pounding thrills from start to finish.
These scenes occur alongside those with Ann's encounter with the giant ape. This is where the heart of the story lies. At first, the initial encounter between the two is just like any other encounter between a beast and a human, with one being very afraid and the other being very hostile and forceful. It then becomes clear that the beast actually likes her and wants to protect her. Even she eventually feels the love. Thanks to Andy Serkis providing the movements and facial expressions for Kong (as he did for Gollum in Lord of the Rings), the big ape is no heartless beast. This is a character who has real feelings, and we can empathize with him.
And when Kong finds himself among the busy streets and towering skyscrapers of New York, he is as threatened as when he fights dinosaurs and other creatures on his home island. The destruction that he wreaks on the city is cool to watch, but also very heartbreaking. Society treats Kong like any outcast of society: with fear and a willingness to harm those who are different. The enemy isn't King Kong. Instead, the enemy is the race of humans that are unwilling to see beyond his intimidating appearance. Only Ann Darrow has the heart to see that the beast, too, is capable of love.
The way Peter Jackson brings the film to life is amazing. It has a mixture of both excitement and sadness. Like with his Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson does not neglect character. Rather, he puts emphasis on that element as much as, if not more, than the plot. I now think he is emerging as one of the most brilliant film directors of our time and I look forward to his future projects. Thanks to him, the special effects team, the rest of the crew, and the entire cast, this remake of King Kong is movie magic at its best.
For more information about King Kong, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my review of the original 1933 film King Kong.