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Decmeber 2005

King Kong

By Wilson Morales

King Kong


Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: Peter Jackson
Producers: Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson, and Fran Walsh
Screenwriters: Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens
Composer: James Newton Howard
Cast: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Andy Serkis, Colin Hanks, Kyle Chandler, Thomas Kretschmann, Jamie Bell, Evan Parke, John Sumner, Richard Kavanagh, Stephen Hall
Screened at: Loews Lincoln Square, NYC




Every year, thereıs always some studio looking to do a remake of a classic film or a foreign film with the thinking that todayıs audience will get a better version than the previous one. Itıs one thing when you redo a foreign film. A majority of folks probably didnıt see the original because of the language barrier or it just didnıt play in the States; but when you redo a classic film, then you are walking into dangerous territory. Peter Jacksonıs inspiration to be a filmmaker came from watching the 1933 original version of ³King Kong². To him, it was the film of all films. With the accolades he received recently from being the first director to shoot three films (The Lord of The Rings trilogy) simultaneously and winning many Oscars on the last of the films, who better to challenge him when he wants to do a remake of ³King Kong². In mixing elements of the ı33 and ı79 versions, Jackson has done a magnificent job in recreating a film for all ages. Though the film could have been shortened to some extent, the story is still intact and King Kong is indeed the 8th wonder of the world.

Jack Black, mostly known as a scene stealer in many films prior to his breakout role in ³School of Rock, plays the film director Carl Denham who wants to shoots the greatest films ever, but is finding it hard to convince his producers to keep pumping more money into his ideas. With an unfinished script from fellow pal and playwright Jack Driscoll (Brody), Denham needs the perfect lady to play the female lead since losing his star actress. Low and behold, Denham stumbles upon an uprising actress named Ann Darrow (Watts). With the cops and producers on his tail for stealing company products, mainly the film footage heıs shot already, Denham gets on the ship, The SS Venture, along with a reluctant Driscoll and an excited Darrow and heads for parts unknown. Captain Engelhorn (Kretschmann) doesnıt like Denham but canıt resist the amount the money that Driscoll is offering him. Also on board are actor Bruce Baxter (Chandler), and shipmates Benjamin Hayes (Parke) and Jimmy (Bell) and many of Denhamıs production crew. While lost at sea, the ship stumbles a island not on the charts called Shull Island. At this point in time, a romance has ensued between Jack and Ann. Once on the island, the crew is attack by the natives and Ann is kidnapped before the crew can escape. Not looking to leave without his latest love interest, Jack makes a daring rescue attempt only to find out that his rival for affections is a gigantic beast known as Kong. The natives are using and basically giving Ann to Kong as food, but to their surprises, the beast is taken by this luscious blonde. In protecting her, Kong has to fight off many dinosaurs and T-Rexes. Eventually, Jack and the very few men who have survived the wilderness filled with giant scorpions and spiders have managed to free Ann and capture Kong to be taken to New York where Denham hopes to prove his brilliance as a filmmakers and fortune displaying his latest find. Little do they know that it takes a lot to a tame a beast.

With as much money and technology at his disposal, Jackson has put out the CGI of King Kong that can be illustrated for the screen. With Andy Serkis in a body suit, King Kong displays real movement and shows some emotion thatıs not easy to pull off. Watts doesnıt have much to say throughout the film, but does a lot of physical movement and to do it behind a green screen is a amazing feat to accomplish. In the previous versions of the films, Driscollıs part seemed larger, but in Jacksonıs version, Brodyıs role is relatively small. Nevertheless, he plays the part with some coolness and more like a concerned friend than lover. With Black, you are going to get some amusement and he doesnıt disappoint. The funniest lines of the film, and you are an expert of all of the versions, are said by Denham. In homage to the other versions, Jackson has thrown in some lines, names, and props to the films. There are plenty of scenes that are amazingly directly such as battle sequences between Kong and the T-Rexes and the chase scenes with the film crew, but at times, a frame or two could have been cut short. Jackson also threw in some character development to most of the film crew which is a benefit, but some relationships like the one of Benjamin and Jimmy was unclear. Overall, ŒKing Kong² is a wonderful recreation of a classic film. Itıs got all that one would want ­ a thrill, some romance, and plenty of excitement.