King Kong, starring Adrien Brody’s nose, Jack Black’s wicked grin, King Kong’s vocal chords, and Naomi Watts‘s beautiful blue eyes, is an interesting movie in a lot of ways. Before I begin my itemized list, I just want to mention something about Watts’s peepers. I enjoyed them. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been partial to brown eyes, I still am, but more importantly I used to think blue eyes were vaguely creepy. I just didn’t like looking at blue eyes. However, recently, for whatever reason, I’ve grown to like blue eyes much more, even enjoy them. After watching King Kong, which seemed to be 25% close-ups of Watts’s eyes, I can now say blue eyes are officially A-okay in my book. Who says movies don’t change people’s lives? Pshaw.
Now onto the movie. I don’t have the patience to go through the movie in detail, so I’ll just throw down a list of stuff I found interesting.
- Starting off with the most noteworthy thing about the whole film: the CGI. Everything you heard about it is true. It’s absolutely fantastic, realistic, stunning, and believable. I remember when Jurassic Park came out and everybody thought those CGI dinosaurs were sweet sauce. Well Kong crushes those dinos just like how he crushed several dinos (along with just about everything else) in his movie. Kong is also better than Gollum from Lord of the Rings, which says a lot because Gollum should have won an Oscar for best actor. Andy Serkis, who did the acting for both Kong and Gollum, must be awfully proud. Probably the most remarkable thing about Kong is his ability to convey emotion with his eyes. Normally, this is the most difficult thing for CGI to do well, but the animators pulled it off extremely well. Yes, behind those pixelly eyes, there is a heart.
- When we first meet Adrien Brody’s character, Jack Driscoll, he is delivering a 15 page script he has written for Jack Black’s Carl Denham. I believe this is a subtle hint that the script for King Kong was only 15 pages as well. Approximately 90% of the dialogue is uttered in the first third of the movie, and then the last two hours the dialogue consists of exclamations, Kong bellowing, and eye-talk. Large sections of the script probably looked like this:
ZOOM IN ON EYES AS KONG PEERS LOVINGLY AT ANN
ZOOM IN ON EYES AS ANN PEERS LOVINGLY AT KONG
KONG BREATHES, NOSE TWITCHING SLIGHTLY
ANN RAISES HAND
KONG GOES APE
KONG SMASHES STUFF
Fortunately, zooming in on Ann’s eyes is always pleasurable, and “KONG SMASHES STUFF” allows ample room for interpretation. Thus, a great movie was made from the scantiest of scripts.
- Even though King Kong is just over 3 hours long, I don’t remember any point when I was bored. Some how Peter Jackson managed to make just about every moment either exciting or fun to look at (e.g. Naomi’s eyes). There are plenty of action sequences, which made me extremely happy. And these action sequences were usually mind-boggling cool to watch. They were also pretty creative and unique, which prompted my older brother to remark, “I never thought I’d see a brontosaurus dogpile.” Neither did I, dear b., neither did I. Also, there’s one scene with giant insects and creepy crawlies that had me writhing with the willies. Probably the best part is when Kong gets loose in NYC, and especially when Kong is driven up to the top of the Empire State Building. If you have a fear of heights, you might want to close your eyes when he’s up there.
- I’m very forgiving when it comes to movies such as this. I only ask to be entertained. Thus, if there is any weakness in the acting, the script, character motivations, etc. I’m not really the guy to ask, especially if the movie really delivers on the action goods. If you take a gander at my movie collection you can see my standard for action flicks is set depressingly low. I do like to think I’m pretty merciless when it comes to drama and other movies that are supposed to make a point. But, King Kong isn’t drama, and it kept me thoroughly entertained. The only complaint I’d make is that some characters did some stuff for no real reason. For example,
Adrien Brody’s noseDriscoll falls in “love” with Ann rather quickly, they have one smoochfest, and then he’s ready to risk life and limb to rescue her from a fiercesome 30 foot ape hell bent on tearing the crap out of everything. Maybe I’m a heartless romantic, but that’s plain stupid. Earth to Driscoll, hello, there are other women out there who aren’t jealously guarded by a giant gorilla.
Pros: Fun, fun, fun, superlative CGI, good acting, Naomi’s eyes, lots of superb action sequences, and dinosaurs.
Cons: No Godzilla to kick Kong’s butt.