What’s the next project you tackle after you make one of the most successful film trilogies of all time, making billions of dollars and winning multiple Oscars in the process? If you’re Peter Jackson, you do a remake of a movie about a monkey that already had another remake. He could have done anything he wanted after the Lord of the Rings and he chose to spend $207 million making a movie that everybody’s already seen. And it made $550.5 million. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.
Naomi Watts and Adrien Brody are the main characters, an unsuccessful actress and a published playwright respectively, who are duped into working for a shady filmmaker played by a miscast Jack Black. They head out to Skull Island to film a movie with a ragtag cast and crew. Skull Island is a place that time forgot about, inhabited by dinosaurs, gigantic insects, and, of course, King Kong.
Kong takes a fancy to Naomi Watts and kidnaps her. Adrien Brody has to save her because he’s the hero and it’s in the script. There are lots of cool sequences on the island, and eventually Kong is chloroformed and captured and Jack Black takes him back to New York City where he opens a show with an enslaved Kong as the star.
Kong escapes and tries to find the sexy blonde woman that stole his heart and destroys a city in the process before he climbs the Empire State Building and gets shot by fighter planes. Then Jack Black says, “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.” But you know that’s not true. You fucking see the fucking planes kill fucking Kong. Maybe he was speaking metaphorically, but you clearly see the planes murder the monkey.
King Kong drags on a bit in the beginning. It’s more than an hour before you see Kong for the first time. It’s called King Kong. Bring on the main attraction already. Once he shows up the movie takes off. There are a couple of cool creature sequences, highlighted by the fight between Kong and three wannabe T-rexes. There’s also an ambitious scene with stampeding dinosaurs and shoddy CG work. It could have been cool, but it looks stupid.
Jack Black is miscast. Adrien Brody has a big fucking nose. Naomi Watts is sexy. Colin Hanks has a part in this movie because he has a famous dad. There is a stupid subplot between the Captain and a young cabin boy. Andy Serkis plays King Kong and has a role as the ship’s cook. He plays CG creatures better than he plays people. The less you see his face, the better.
Peter Jackson’s King Kong is both an homage to old Hollywood films and a current reminder that people will pay money to see unoriginal movies again and again and again. It has its moments, but it’s a bloated and unnecessary production. The world did not need another King Kong movie. But we got one.
Critically Rated at 12/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young