King Kong

Ok, probably later to this than the world and his missus (but, hey, I’ve been busy!). So some brief notes on my take on the proceedings.

No matter what anyone says it is too long. Basically all the flab is made up of the ships crew being set upon by various critters on skull island. There’s just too much of it. We know the place is dangerous there’s a fecken 20 foot gorilla fighting dinosaurs! The brontosaurus chase was just stretched beyond belief. Whereas the T-rex V the monkey bit was both tense and hilarious for the same reason (“just what could possibly go wrong next”), that was just lengthy. Trying to employ the above ‘reason’ to the creepy-crawly crevasse was just annoying; kill those you want to then lets get on with the flippin’ story. And, the cocks with teeth were just stupid.

“Oh, but the effects?”, I hear you whine. C’mon lets be serious here. Just how groundbreaking is it to see some people being chased by prehistoric beasts? I mean, that’s never been done before, has it? Also, throughout the film there were bits that literally shocked me with their appalling execution. There’s a ‘making of’ documentary about one of the Indiana Jones films (second I think) where they show you some folk lying on a blue floor kidding on they are hanging from a rope ladder in a ravine. The last chap’s legs, which are dangling over the water, get (literally) drawn in. If you know what you are looking for, today it looks quaint and dated, but still works. With advances in CGI, they don’t even employ the actors for such things just choosing to badly animate little figures in huge scenery. But, on the big screen they look really shoddy. And, don’t even get me started on the boats…

However, Peter Jackson‘s rendering of depression era New York is rather wonderful. In fact, the opening scene setting montage is one of the best things in the film – almost worth the price of entry alone.

And, of course, the monkey is brilliant. Hats off to Andy Serkis and the tech team for the work they did there. Also, and perhaps most importantly, to Naomi Watts, who manages not so much the impossible as the completely preposterous rather brilliantly. In fact the bits with her and the monkey were so good I’m even willing to let them off with the ice skating scene (which didn’t cheese me off half as much as how the milked the finale). I’ve seen her in a small handful of films and she’s been really good in them all, but I’m buggered if I could pick her out of a crowd (unless she took her top off, but let’s but get into that right now).

Poor casting in the shape of Jack Black, though. I quite like the guy, but he doesn’t have the range or, indeed, ability to pull of the change from megalomaniac to properly deranged. I genuinely think he stared off into the distance and raised an eyebrow to portray this. Shame.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

09 January 2006 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Film

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