King Kong

Finally saw the remake of King Kong on saturday, and I’m actually feeling almost well again, so I’ll write about it. There are only a few things wrong with it:

1) As was pointed out to me by everyone who saw it before I did, the movie is just a liiiiiittle too long. Cutting down certain “slow” scenes (and maybe the overly gruesome bit where the guy is devoured by giant worms) would have improved it greatly.

2) After Kong is taken to New York he suddenly turns into Mighty Joe Young for no good reason. He’s supposed to be a giant killer ape. The original giant killer ape. He actually does kill people in both versions. Yet our heroine is crying and trying to defend him. Now I understand that we’re supposed to feel a little sorry for the big guy. He’d never known anything except violence until he meets the girl and once he was taken to New York he never really stood a chance. The original movie makes that point very well. But he is a giant killer ape on a rampage who, at the very least, needs to be put down to protect people from being killed by the giant killer ape.

I can forgive Luke Skywalker for going all namby-pamby just because a murderer of millions of innocent people happens to be his father. Luke certainly doesn’t have the same “values” as me anyway, what with The Force being quite vague on a number of moral issues. But we’re talking about a giant monster on the rampage in the 1930s. I guess since there’s no substantive difference between people and apes, or people and dolphins, or people and trees, we have to cry a when a giant killer monster with a cross-species fetish gets shot in the back by those mean ol’ intolerant species-ist warmongering army honkeys… but this is supposed to be set in the 1930s, long before PETA and Greenpeace came along. And I thought Birth of a Nation was pathetically obvious propoganda.

(Okay, I’m exaggerating somewhat and I’m very cranky right now. But King Kong is not supposed to be a misunderstood hero. Trying to make him into one in the last hour of the film is just wrong in the same way that The Austin Powers In The Hat movie was just wrong.)

(By the way, I love Mighty Joe Young. But King Kong is not Mighty Joe Young in the same way that Freddy Krueger is not Edward Scissorhands.)

Otherwise, Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong is a very well executed and entertaining film. It just needs all the namby-pamby nonsense cut out and it’d be perfect. It makes me pine for my own set of film editing equipment…

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