Peter Jackson strikes again. Another epic film from the director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy; epic in terms of both story and time consumption. Put simply, this film is big in every way. It’s long, loud, bright and beautiful. Magnificent images of a vast uncharted island and warring fantasy creatures, all wrapped around the classic tale of girl-meets-ape.
The story tells of desperate and impulsive filmmaker Carl Denham (Jack Black) setting out to make the movie to end all movies. He brings along a faithful film team, an unenthusiastic sailing crew, two thespians and a writer. Just as all hope is lost their ship finds the uncharted Skull Island, Denham?s secret film location. What ensues is an adventure into a dream world. Giant creatures of all shapes, jagged rocks, and a savage native tribe bent on human sacrifice to their King.
The movie is very long, but to Jackson?s credit I did not find myself checking my watch or wishing it would end. It is an epic in both senses of the word; a tale of heroism and adventure, all the while exceeding the status quo of adventure films. As did The Lord of the Rings series, and it’s no coincidence. If you liked what those movies did to J.R.R. Tolkien?s story, you are likely to enjoy this one. Speaking of Tolkien, I have a side note on King Kong that I think is quite interesting. Andy Serkis plays the part of Kong, in the same fashion he played the part of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. However, he also plays the cook on the ship in this film, so if you want a peek at the man who brought you Gollum and Kong, look for the cook.
Moving on, among the highlights of the film was the surprise of fear. It was scarier than I expected. The natives of the island have a spooky introduction and maintain that frightening aura throughout their time on screen. The motion picture in general is a feast for the eyes, and with Peter Jackson in charge I got what was expected for a tropical fantasy island (very reminiscent of LOTR). While I was expecting to be wowed, I did find the images of Kong strolling through Central Park and the sunrise over 1930s New York particularly endearing.
So, should you go? If you like amazing vistas and magic/tragic islands, definitely. If you think 3 hours is too long for a movie and you didn’t like Jurassic Park or The Lord of the Rings, don’t bother.
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