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Thursday, May 22, 2008

KING KONG (2005)

Twice as long and half as memorable as the original beauty, Peter Jackson’s enormous remake is a major disappointment. Inconsistency of tone largely dooms our response since we can’t get a handle on how we’re supposed to react. How much of this fairy tale of horror are we supposed to buy into, and how much is keyed as some overgrown kid's ironic/iconic adventure? (With Jackson being the kid.) Some of the CGI work is fun & effective (the attack of the bugs, the Tinker Toy 1930s NYC, Skull Island), but a lot of the action scenes have that all too familiar plasticy, weightless digital look. And it’s all so overused that you quickly stop investing in the risks taken by characters hanging in front of a blue screen. The film is a particular flub for Naomi Watts who can’t seem to hold the screen against any of her co-stars, while Jack Black plays hit & miss with his character. And do we really want to bring back the noble token black supporting character who sacrifices himself for his little white bud?*

NOTE: The preceding write-up does not even mention Kong. And that’s really all you need to know.


*SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Good Lord. Never realized it before, but the classic version of the black supporting character who takes a hit for their white 'pal' isn't someone like Jim Brown in THE DIRTY DOZEN/'67, but Kong himself! Is this the ultimate Hollywood demonstration of racism or the usual liberal condescension taken to new heights?

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