Critical Consensus: Crown This "Kong"

The original "King Kong" is a movie so loved, and so emulated, that it would seem a foolhardy task to try to remake it. But Peter Jackson is a director who dreams big, and realizes those dreams more often than not. Will the critics go ape for his new "Kong?"

Jackson has said the original "King Kong" was the movie that made him want to make movies. It's not hard to see why; Jackson has a sublime sense of how to balance the illusory with the emotional, as he showed in "Heavenly Creatures" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. And few films in the medium use the fantastic (a giant ape) as the embodiment of such a wide-ranging list of themes, from unrequited love to cultural imperialism. This is a long-winded way of saying that critics love this new "Kong" because it delivers both as spectacle and as a thrilling examination of what has made the original so compelling after all these years. The scribes say the film blends stunning visuals with a storyline that has a ton of heart. At 87 percent on the Tomatometer, "Kong" is Certified Fresh. And it's the third best-reviewed wide release of the year, behind only "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" (which also features a battle atop the Empire State Building), at 95 percent, and "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (89 percent).

Recent Peter Jackson Films:
--------------------------------
95% -- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
98% -- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
93% -- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
100% -- Forgotten Silver (1997)
71% -- The Frighteners (1996)

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