King Kong – Demi 'Peter Jackson' God

King Kong

An outright commercial. Fantasy flick. Overtly sentimental. Glitches here and there. Popcorn muncher’s special. Graphics Galore.

Yet its an accomplishment in modern cinema. Its bigger than what you have seen before. While it pays tributes to many classics, its tries to get better than all of them. It slightly succeeds too. If you are a sane person you wouldn’t attempt to make a movie like that. One would assume it was Matrix or Charlie Kaufman flicks which were unconceivable. Even after conceiving, bringing them on-screen would be a tight rope walk. But King Kong is very much conceivable but the script to screen conversion is where Peter Jackson displays his genius in movie making. If Lord Of The Rings was anything by grandeur, King Kong is an epitome of this show business. With this PJ proves he is one among the top showmen in Hollywood.

Oh !! yeah, its the same story. The beauty and the beast. The same moving fantasy tale that we have witnessed before more than once on-screen. But there’s not one beast here but an array of them. While the gorilla falls in love with blond babe, the other spooky creatures try to eat the beauty, flesh and blood. Its like making Mahabharata or Bible, as a film. The whole world knows the story. So what are you going to do different about it ? Peter answers that with an utmost ease. Even succumbing to have a very ‘believable’ ending, PJ still works his crazy ways of getting there, to the climax. With a three hour movie you could pretty much bore the fans with all the build-up. PJ does take his own sweet time in unleashing the beast but doesn’t allow you to sink in the seat, even until then. Howabout having King Kong + Titanic + Jurassic Park + all the what-if-you-get-lost-in-a-creepy-forest movies in one movie. Its a sheer tact to combine the best of all these and pack them into one movie.

The beauty and the beast are so well attached to each other. Just like the previous Kong flicks, you would fall in love with the Kong even at the very minute you meet him. At the end, it does compel you to shed a single tear. Though it might be laughable to watch the inter-species romance, this is how the original was made. Kong loves the Ann Darrow, a suffering actress. Ann just sympathizes Kong for that. But no where as I feared, Naomi shouts,” Kong…Kill them”. And thats a big relief.

pj

An effort of re-creating this classic is an herculean task. There are hundreds of infinitesimal details that needs to be taken care. Without a worthy team, PJ wouldn’t have succeeded in creating this to-be-classic. Yes, PJ’s King Kong is the most complete movie in the Kong series and its an instant classic. A perfect cast which includes, Naomi Watts – the babe from Mulholland Dr., Adrien Brody – with a nose of namooru Vikram and the superb Jack Black. I would crime if you missed to mention, Andy Serkis as the man behind the CG Gorilla. You just can’t ask for more in the casting department.

Re-creating the depression-era New York mustn’t have been hard with computer graphics. But the production values are just mind-blowing. The skull-island and those wacky creatures seem horribly true. King Kong by himself seems completely alive. Be it the way he jumps thunderously to catch the blond girl or the way he sneaks through the streets of New York after finding her. while the most brilliant sequences being the above, there are also masterfully picturised stunts between the Gorilla and T-Rexes. You wouldn’t be skeptical, that Kong is a computer generated creature. However there are places where the cast caught in between graphics, seem unreal. An amazing support from the music director for those splendid BGMs.

It takes nearly 100 minutes for the Kong to enter the story but the entry is with a build-up much bigger than a Super Star entry. From then on until the end its pure action, every shot. At times it gets so high that you just wish, PJ would give a few minutes of break for the action.

As Peter Jackson says, its his childhood dream to make King Kong. But none including him would have believed that it would turn so spectacular. The whole three hour movie seems to be a big dipper of fun, romance, action and fantasy.

A must see, ofcourse in the theatre. Don’t even dare to watch in on the DVD. Forget your logic and critic hats at home. PJ’s King Kong like Spielberg’s ET is one of those reasons, why movies exist.

32 thoughts on “King Kong – Demi 'Peter Jackson' God

  1. Just like Kong’s build-up, your site’s build-up to this review was “Kingkong”ish 🙂 (though, I got scared for a while that the site has been hacked.. )
    Looks like this will be my next english movie in a theatre long-not-seen for a while.. Thanx for a good ‘build-up’ 😉

  2. “for

    the craziness of

    Peter Jackson

    without which”

    Looking at the context in which you have written this sentence, dont u think it should be a “whom” and not a “which” in the above sentence, on your new ‘King Kong’ home page?

  3. Making LoTR into a movie wouldn’t have been possible if not for Peter Jackson. (People tried before him, and failed, miserably at that)If creating the 30s NY was a Herculean task, bringing the non-existent fantasy alive, convincing and exciting would have made it living hell. And I came to know while watching the Special Features of LoTR: Extended, that all three movies were shot simultaneously. That guy has some energy!!!

  4. You didnt mention Andy serkis, the man who played Kong. Without him Kong might have been just another CGI monkey.

  5. Kribs, Take care. Not all the scenes are suitable for Kids. There’s lot of graphical violence. An indian family was in the theatre with a kids and that kid started crying in the middle.

  6. ah man- u already saw it? damn.. i thot it is releasing tomorrow!
    i hate these sneaky wednesday releases 🙂

    the reviews has been universally positive… its really surprising to see all critics agree on one thing… and the funny thing is… everyone knows the whole story!

    did u compare it with the ’33 original or did u see it with a fresh pair of eyes?

  7. btw – if u get a chance see PJ’s production diaries… its a 2 volume DVD set released this monday….

    its not just another “making of..” DVD… but a step/by/step process of creating it…

    i have a copy of it if u need a copy 🙂

  8. LG,

    I am new to Redmond , can you let me know in which theatre King Kong is screened. Or any theatre near to Redmond.

    Regards
    Rajasekar

  9. I’m just glad Peter Jackson didn’t ruin King Kong like Roland Emmerich did Godzilla(1998). Godzilla, the movie had enough potential to bring back the Monster movie genre. We would’ve seen King King made a lot earlier.

    Waiting for the sequel, King Kong vs Godzilla 🙂

  10. Ram, I have seen the oldest version in some television few years back. the 70’s one, i think has some cheesy effects but still was heart breaking. this one is nothing compared to. Peter Jackson wins hands down.

    Ashwini, Thanks.

    Kirthika, I agree that Peter Jackson has a true passion and energy. It should have taken a hell of an effort to create a movie of this intensity.

  11. i saw it last night. did anybody else feel that the first third of the movie – up till Kong’s appearance, was a tad draggy? i was still blown away by the awesome visual details of Depression-era NY but i just couldn’t wait for Kong to show up and rip the screen apart 🙂

    anyway, once he showed up the movie went into overdrive!

    the relationship between Ann and Kong was also very touching. kudos to PJ for not making that aspect of the movie suck and pull the whole movie down.

    the original 1933 version is also out on DVD in 2 different versions – i would highly recommend that one plus PJ’s production diaries DVD that just got released. make sure you watch it AFTER you see the movie 🙂

    now i can’t wait for the DVD…

  12. I just came out from the theater and movie was excellent.apt review. Hats off to Peter Jackson & team. I guess, the making of this movie will come in a separate disc…

  13. I think the title for your article would read even better if you make a small edit as follows:

    Instead of saying Demi “Peter Jackson” God, you could say Peter “Demi God” Jackson. Is that what you were trying to say when you started writing this excellent review..? Anyway, thanks for the review..

  14. Guru, namma Spielberg already predicted that PJ’s KK will make it big, bigger than his Munich.
    Remember the interview I mailed ya (still not posted? 😀 ), I thought it would be like Star Wars but seems crossed that by bounds. CNN stated its a sure-shot blockbuster of the year!!

  15. Someone already said it but seriously Pudhupettai songs rock bigtime and kindly check them out.There is a big relevance to what u said and have been saying frequently abt selvarghavan and Pudhupettai all along.Just do the needful.

  16. never felt as bored…206 million is a lil too much for all the shouting going on..hoped to see some kind of an intelligent effort… thoroughly disappointed

  17. I still have to see this movie… and I am all excited abt it now.
    BTW when i first read ‘PJ’ as a short hand for Peter Jackson somehow it did not click. And I read it as ‘poor joke’ 🙂 Sure made it fun to read the review.

  18. Kong as a move is eminently watchable and could have been a great film if only PJ had chopped a good 30-40 mins off. The CGI w/ Kong was incredible – felt so real. Acting was mostly top knotch – I know some folks may not agree w/ Jack Black cast as Carl Denhem, but to me he was perfect as was Naomi Watts. Adrien Brody was ok. Andy Serkis (aided by motion capture CGI) as Kong was amazing. You have to see this on the big screen – dont wait for the DVD.

    Minor and major nits..Some of these may be spoilers, so read at your own risk.

    — Looks like PJ’s editor feel asleep during post-production. What could have been a classic 2 hr 15-30min movie is only a good 3hr+ movie.

    — My #1 complaint is w/ the 2nd act – on Skull Island. “Eppo da mudiyum indha Jurassic Park-4 nnu irundhadu.” How many strange creatures can one island bear! I was waiting for some Aliens & Predators to show up next! It was like a completely different movie! It was extremely self-conscious film making too – look what I can do w/ CGI! – PJ went beserk here w/o the studio or his editor reigning him in.(BTW, if I am trying to capture one of these creatures for money, I’d probably choose a V-Rex over a Gorilla – most people have seen a Gorilla (smaller specimen) – who has seen a live Dino?)

    — #2 grouse – Lazy filmaking (maybe that’s why you liked it) Many examples throughout: 1) There is a sub-plot involving the ship’s 1st mate and a hand deck (Jimmy), that is developed w/o any payoff? WTF? 2) No sign of Natives when they escape from Skull Island. They lived on the seaward side of the wall and then nowhere to be seen 3) I know we are expected to suspend disbelief, but no one gets nary a scratch on their body despite their incredible adventure! If a giant ape had shook me I am sure I’d end up w/ multiple life-threatening fractures if not a heart-attack. 4) How did they lift a 3000lb gorrila from the shore into the ship, let alone drag it to NY from South Asia? 5) The Empire State scenes were superb but dude I’d be blown off by the wind if I am standing on top. Ann is climbing up, hanging on etc. with a skimpy dress in cold weather and perfect hair! (not to mention running around NYC and playing in the snow in central park in that dress!)

    — #3 – Weak Emotional Payoff. Indha galatta-kku apparum ivvalavu thaana? Kong is the only one who is acting human here – w/ his feelings for Ann. Ann and Driscoll part ways in NY on return from Skull Island? WTF? He has no idea that she chose obscurity while she hasn’t a kin about Kong’s unveiling? What? Why? Ann doesn’t even care for Kong enough to see the unveiling? PJ’s case here is that she can’t bear to see him being tortured. I don’t buy that argument. KK is essentially a love triangle – Ann, Kong and Jack Driscoll, but only Kong seems to making an effort! The last scene for example – I would have loved to see the entire impact of Kong’s fall from ESB – nope – all we get is Kong falling off and a scene of a people crowded around his body. Shouldn’t that have been the “ending w/ a bang” – Imagine how a huge Gorilla would have landed w/ a thud off that building. PJ missed a great opportunity here.

    Ok – will stop rambling now…

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