King Kong (2005) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann
Director: Peter Jackson

Just two years after THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy came to an end, thrilling audiences globally and collecting Oscars along the way, director/writer/producer Peter Jackson has brought another epic fantasy adventure to the big screen. This time it’s KING KONG – all 188 minutes of it! Screened without an intermission – so make sure you’re prepared – you become so immersed in the unfolding tale set in 1933 you’ll not notice its duration but marvel at this latest gem from the exceptionally talented Jackson (and his team), which fulfils a lifetime dream of his.

Naomi Watts plays heroine Ann Darrow who is offered as a sacrifice to Kong, an abnormally huge gorilla, but instead captures his attention, then his heart, as the beast falls for her beauty. Their developing relationship and the ultimate bond that grows between them is played to perfection.

So too is the exhilarating story that leads up to the tragic climax of King Kong on top of the Empire State Building. The cinematography and attention to detail are enthralling and simply stunning. The CGI of Kong and the prehistoric lost world, which self-centred filmmaker Carl Denham (Jack Black) uncovers on the legendary Skull Island he has been searching for his location shoot, are superb. The way Jackson builds the tension in the scarier sequences and then unleashes explosive, fast moving action pieces never letting the pulse drop results in an outstandingly well paced movie. Watch out for the pole vaulter from the island tribe who kidnaps Ann Darrow in an unbelievably tense sequence and incredible feat of action.

The ensemble cast all give worthy performances. If you can’t image Jack Black doing anything other than comedy – think again. He moulds his character into a truly believable director from hell who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal or should I say, glory, until it’s too late!

Another unforgettable masterpiece from Peter Jackson.

6 out of 6 stars


For all those Peter Jackson fans and movie buffs a 3-disc version of KING KONG is now available. If the movie wasn’t long enough already this release sees the addition of 13 extra minutes of never seen before footage, over 40 minutes of deleted scenes, and mini featurettes including The Eighth Blunder of The World, King Kong Homage, A Night in Vaudeville and The Missing Production Diary. There’s also some very interesting feature commentary from director/writer/producer Peter Jackson and his co-collaborator Philippa Boyens (co-writer/producer). My favourite is always the bloopers or outtakes which I find fascinating and hilarious to watch. I think this humanizes the movie and it’s refreshing to think that mistakes are made but obviously edited out.

All these phenomenal extras add up to 6 1/2 hours of additional material so you’d better stock up on popcorn and drink or you’re going to end up hungry, thirsty and probably exhausted!

I still think this movie is a masterpiece, it just depends whether you have the stamina and are enough of a diehard fan to watch all the goodies on offer here or just select the ones that appeal to you. On the other hand though with Christmas coming you may have some time on your hands to relax and enjoy this sensational work of art in all its glory.

DVD EXTRAS (10 April 2006)

The 2-disc DVD release has some interesting extras particularly the post-production diaries which give an insight into the making of KING KONG. This plus the introduction by Peter Jackson, ‘Kong’s New York, 1933’ featurette and ‘The Natural History Of Skull Island’ featurette really do compliment the DVD release.