King Kong

release year: 2005
genre: action/adventure
viewing setting: home DVD, 3/17/13 and 4/8/06

synopsis: In the second remake (i.e. third version) of this story, selfish Americans find and trap a giant ape and then bring it back to New York to make money from it.

impressions: It was good in all the necessary ways (acting, special effects, atmosphere) but the basic story has always bothered me...specifically the part about how one man (Carl Denham) was directly and indirectly responsible for more than a dozen deaths (and that's not even counting all the deaths in the New York rampage) and gets away with it. The character's a scumbag who sacrifices lives to further his ambitions. The fate of the ape is a sad story, as always. At least this 2005 version has some great action scenes, including a moving 10-minute fight between Kong and three T-rexes. There's also a creepy scene with humans amidst a bunch of gigantic insects. A directorial gripe I had: some scenes are slow and seem to drag on forever (especially any non-action scene with Kong and Ann.)

something this movie has that no other movie has: A stampede of Brontosauruses.

acting: Adrien Brody is an understated leading man, playing a mild-mannered hero here. Naomi Watts is the woman who the ape falls for, and I have to say, there was far too much woman-ape silliness going on here (at the end, despite Kong's repeated attempts to stash Ann in a safe place, she still climbs and gets in the way of gunfire.) Jack Black does an excellent job portraying a total scumbag filmmaker. Thomas Kretschmann and Evan Parke are good as the captain and second-in-command of the ship.

final word: Probably the best Kong movie to date, but the plot remains unchanged.

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