Directed by Peter Jackson
Screenplay by Fran Walsh & Phillippa Boyens & Peter Jackson
Story by Merian C. Cooper & Edgar Wallace
Film history is going be made with the release of King Kong (2005). Not only because it is the answer to the trivia question, “what is the best remake?” but also because Peter Jackson has made the film that is destined to become the new, worldwide box-office champ. It is everything that Titanic was and more. It’s filled with breath-taking action, thrilling adventure, marvelous special effects, yet at its core it succeeds where Titanic failed by creating believable characters and an amazing story that will tug at your heartstrings. Forget gay cowboys; this is a love story for the ages.
I don’t know how it’s possible, but for those that don’t know the story, producer, Carl Denham, puts together a film crew and sets out aboard a freighter to shoot on location on Skull Island, a mysterious tropical island. The film crew disembarks and begins shooting. The island isn’t as deserted as expected and the natives capture actress Ann Darrow and offer her up as a sacrifice to Kong, a giant ape, who becomes smitten with her. The crew rescues her, but some lose their lives in the process. Kong chases after the men to reclaim Darrow. With his film ruined, the enterprising Denham comes up with a way to salvage his losses. They capture Kong and bring him back to New York to put on display on Broadway. Kong breaks free and goes on a rampage. The doomed love affair ends tragically.
The 1933 version has attained legendary status. Jackson’s version is a loving tribute to that movie and movies in general. Jackson and his team pull out all the stops to create a film that is worthy and deserving to be called King Kong. It will become a legend as well because it excels in all areas of production.
Jackson takes his time with the story, establishing characters and relationships that the audience cares about. Kong doesn’t even appear until about 45 minutes in. The actors do a great job bringing these people to life; however, the best performance in the film is by Kong. He is brought to life in much the same way as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. He is performed by Andrew Serkis and completed by a team of brilliant craftspeople and technicians.