March 11, 2007

DVD Review: King Kong

3 out of 5 stars

So, following the massive success of the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, here’s what Peter Jackson did next. All $207 million of it. And to be honest I ended up on the fast-forward button.

In a nutshell, filmmaker Carl Denham (Jack Black) hires struggling vaudeville actress Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) for his new film, setting sail for Skull Island. Darrow is then captured by locals and offered as a sacrifice to the eponymous ape which is then recaptured and brought to New York, where he predictably runs amok.

While the film looked great, too much of it was eerily similar what we’d seen in the Lord of the Rings; the walls of Skull Island looked like Mordor, the locals could interchangeably stand in as orcs, the jungle was Fangorn Forest and so on. It just seemed, for want of a better word, lazy. And despite the fact the film was released 12 years after Jurassic Park, the CG dinosaurs were nowhere near as convincing. The escapade on Skull Island itself is the principal problem; it’s far too long. Like other films we know the ending to, such as [shudders] Titanic, we know what the denouement is and would like to be taken there in a prompt and orderly fashion.

It’s a shame, because the acting is quite good; Watts performs the role of Darrow well, and Black is always engaging. If I could give it 2-and-a-half stars I could, but 3 will have to do.

PS: On a pedantic note, how many chemists do you know that can throw 2.5 L winchesters of chloroform (density 1.49 times that of water) great distances…?

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