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Movie Review: King Kong a Landmark Film

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King Kong is a popcorn thriller, in the best possible way. I was expecting to be disappointed by the beast, but Kong was perfect both in computer graphic design and his emoting as a result of the state of the art movement effects (the same technology used to bring Gollum to life in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which Jackson also produced and directed). The shockingly gorgeous Naomi Watts was amazing. I want to marry her right now. I’m a huge sucker for mesmerizing blue eyes and blonde hair.

To be completely candid, I have never seen as many effects come to life as they did in King Kong. Peter Jackson is a directing genius. Some of the scenes were a little over the top and unrealistic (for example, 20 people could never survive a 40 or 50 stampeding dinosaurs with only 4 dudes dying) But it’s supposed to be a fairy tale, so I didn’t mind that.

My other big reservation, which is essentially nitpicking at this point, was Adrien Brody’s character, Jack Driscoll. Jack was a hero, but Jackson made him far too passive. Not to take anything away from Brody’s performance, because he quietly delivers powerful expressions without having to say much. I understand that Jackson wanted to make Kong the ultimate hero in the end, which Kong was, but I missed the human element of romance. Jack, a writer/screenwriter/playwright, falls in love with aspiring actress Ann Darrow (Watts) but is afraid to tell her, Yet he still saves her from Kong, whom she could never really truly fall in love with from the start.

As a loser who happens to write well, I empathized with Jack’s character because I’m always falling for girls like Ann Darrow.

I especially sympathized with both male characters (Kong and Jack), because they were both falling in love with the same girl for completely different reasons. Kong was lonely and one of a kind. He felt unappreciated and worthless before finding someone he loved and with whom he could share his experiences. When dinosaurs threaten Ann’s safety, watching Kong kick the living crap out of everyone and everything in sight was one of the most memorable sequences in American movie history.

Jack Driscoll, meanwhile, found a beautiful, talented girl who literally acted out his love and talent – writing and creating – with her performances. Through Jack’s writing, he constructed characters and stories that reflected real life. When he found the ideal woman, both for his characters and for himself, he began to suffer man’s greatest achilles heel: our love for the ladies.

In the end, Jack wound up being a side story even though he risked his life over and over again to save Ann from Kong. Despite loving Ann as well, Kong murdered half a ship’s crew and destroyed the biggest city in the Western world out of misplaced anger and aggression. I sympathize with Kong’s feelings, however, when it comes to unrequited or difficult-to-pull-off love for a girl.

Jack Black delivered an awesome performance as well, perhaps the best in the entire film (besides, of course, Watts). Black played his self-interested filmmaker character to perfection, doubling as a narrator for the film. As his friends sadly declare during the unveiling of Kong in New York City, “He has an unfailing talent to destroy all the things he loves.”

Think of the first time you saw the Star Wars movies, Jurassic Park or the Lord of the Rings trilogy in theaters. This film encompasses the same kind of powerful cinematic experience. And you actually felt emotion from a computer-generated creature that never spoke a single word.


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About Fernando J. Delgado