Film Review - King Kong
FILM REVIEW – KING KONG
Certificate – 12ADirected by Peter JacksonStarring – Naomi Watts, Carl Denham, Jack Driscoll, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Andy Serkis.
Reviewed by David Kerr
PETER JACKSON has had the world at his feet since his acclaimed film version of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy broke all kinds of box office records over the last few years. He could have had any film project he cared to name, so it’s no wonder that he decided to aim for something big – very big!
The dustbins of cinematic history are overflowing with dreadful, pointless remakes and sequels. The worst one of recent years has to be Psycho. King Kong itself was remade once before and set in the late twentieth century. In that one, the great ape met his gruesome end while balanced on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre.
Why bother, the, when the 1933 original was such a masterpiece? Well, I suppose that Jackson thought that he could bring in some modern film making techniques and produce a new classic for a new era. Id so, he has done it and done it well.
Andy Serkis, Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, brought a real sense of believability to the role of Kong. This wasn’t just a bit of fancy computer generated imagery with a man mucking about in a monkey suit. The CGI was impressive with its lovingly recreated images of Thirties New York. Jackson’s choice in keeping his film in the same historical era as the RKO original was the right one.
Jack Denham really shines as the seedy, fast-talking and non-too-scrupulous filmmaker who takes a down-on-her-luck comedy actress into sailing to ‘Singapore’ to make a shipboard movie. He narrowly avoids arrest as the ship slips its moorings and sails to the mysterious Skull Island. No matter what horrors emerge – and there’s plenty of them – he keeps his camera rolling. Naomi Watts plays the hoodwinked actress who is captured by savages to be given to the great ape as a human sacrifice. The scene where she tries to befriend the ape with part of her stage comedy routine is hugely entertaining.
Some have criticised Jackson’s film for its length. I thought that the scenes where King Kong fights dinosaurs didn’t have to be so long and the scenes where the crew of the vessel encounters giant insects and leeches could have been cut. However, I decided against a large Coke before entering the cinema, so my bladder allowed me to sit through the whole thing without any discomfort! Definitely, this is one of the best films of 2005.