King Kong - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

King Kong Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 12, 2007
A film crew travel to a remote, lost island to make an adventure movie only to find it contains a lost world inhabited by dinosaurs and a huge gorilla like creature worshipped by the local tribe. Remakes are invariably a bad idea and remaking a classic doubly so. In fact the only reason I even bothered with this was the fact that Peter Jackson was at the helm and I have to say he did not disappoint. Sticking closely to the original story this felt more like an affectionate and knowing update than anything else, even taking time out to mock some of the more dubious gender and racial politics of the original. As a whole it has elements of Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and even Titanic, Jackson handling all of these ingredients with consummate skill, creating a fantastically entertaining old school matinee style romantic adventure. The only real bone of contention (aside from the film's rather unnecessary running time) is the fact that Jackson gets far too carried away during what I assume was intended to be the show piece of the film; namely the lost world section. Given the keys to the toyshop, he loses all sense of restraint and subtlety goes flying out the window. It's clearly not enough to have a herd of brontosaurus. No, it has to be a stampeding herd, chased by raptors off a cliff in the middle of a gun battle....and just ONE poxy Tyrannosaurus Rex fighting a giant ape?? Hell no! Let's have three, all fighting at once, falling off a mountainside! This means that the sequences go beyond spectacle and into the realm of the absurd. Still, despite some of the green screening being a little obvious, it's a great looking film with a vibrant use of colour and the Kong effects still work brilliantly; he feels more like an actual character than a special effect. I also have to say the unspoken relationship of a girl and her CG ape has far more pathos than a hundred rom coms and as a whole it works really well.
Super Reviewer
September 14, 2007
I'm not one for remakes and it would be very hard to out do the 1933 version. I'kk stick with the first abd Best King Kong. 2 stars Updated from 9-14-07
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
November 21, 2011
The film is visually, almost like a revolution. However, because of the length, most people won't appreciate this and worry about when the film ends. The film does have great performances from Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody and Jack Black. But the real focus should be Andy Serkis, who portrays as the cook and Kong. The infamous Insect pit is very intense and may most likely disturb children or those not comfortable with bugs.
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2008
Peter Jackson's portrayal of the famed king of the jungle is an entertaining spectacle. The visual-effects and pulse-pounding action steers out of the fact that it is 3 hours. Fantastic is all i say. 4.5/5
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2007
What everyone has been saying since 2005 is true - King Kong is too long. We get an almost absurd amount of setup before the titular monkey even comes into the picture almost halfway through. The film could have started with the crew finding Skull Island, but instead we have to wait for everyone to agree to the plan, get onboard, and sail for a while. All of this needless exposition isn't necessarily boring - Jackson makes sure everything looks like a perfect representation of the 1930s. But its still needless, especially since none of the setup means much when the focus shifts to King Kong once he's introduced.

Not only this, but the three hours feels even longer given that everyone knows how the film will end from the beginning. For more than an hour, we have to wait for the human characters to reach the island and meet Kong, but since everyone already knows its going to happen, we're just left wondering how much longer until we get to the point. The bigger problem is that King Kong's most iconic scene is at the end. Everyone who thinks of King Kong thinks of the Empire State Building, so from the first second of the movie, we know exactly what will be in the last moments. Again, Jackson makes sure every minute is a spectacle worth seeing, but those minutes add up.

The human cast is composed of unique and interesting characters, the best of them played by Adrian Brody, Kyle Chandler, and Jamie Bell, but Jackson really miscast the main lead. Jack Black does a good job in a mostly serious role, but its still hard to take him seriously when you automatically find yourself expecting a punchline from him every time he talks. Credit must also be given to motion capture actor Andy Serkis, who is probably the only man who could do justice to King Kong. Unfortunately, the monkey himself isn't a very compelling character. We're supposed to sympathise with him and recognize his human-like emotion, but his affection is shown through blank, unreadable glares. It doesn't work.

The only thing keeping this slog from dipping into utter boredom are the character interactions, which disappear completely towards the end, and the action scenes. The action moments may already look dated less than a decade later (the green screens are hilariously obvious), but they're so huge, so epic, and so increasingly ridiculous that you can't help but appreciate them. What's better than one T-Rex? Ten. Now how about all of them fighting a giant gorilla. That's better. Most of these scenes are far too long, and just as unnecessary as the first hour. There is a scene with giant bugs that is probably the single most pointless fight scene I've ever seen in a movie.

To recap, King Kong looks great. It has some talented cast members. It has memorable action moments. Its plot is also a mess. And the biggest obstacle is that its too long. Watch at your own peril, because it could possibly put you to sleep before its best moments even kick in. You'll also most likely be unsatisfied by its ending. But its also really well-done. That might be enough...
Super Reviewer
December 26, 2006
Really long
Directors Cat
Super Reviewer
November 1, 2011
This remake may be one of the best ever. It's not another creature feature. Peter Jackson shows more respect to the original classic then any other remake of any other movie. It is as if he simply took the original and updated it with some of the most beautifully done digital effects.
Super Reviewer
½ April 8, 2007
Awesome special effects, brilliant story and one of my favourite adventure movies of all time. This is so much more than a mere monster flick. It's a visual extravaganza that also happens to be really captivating and well-written (which isn't exactly a common thing within the genre). So if this is the Jurassic Park of the 21th century, Peter Jackson must surely be the new Spielberg. Or rather to say, in the same extraordinary league.
Super Reviewer
May 26, 2007
Modern remake of King Kong classic movie. Film makers come to a remote island where they meet King Kong.
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2007
Big name, big film, three hours and twenty minutes to be precise phew! just completed the extended version of this remake (Jackson likes em big huh) and I must admit I did enjoy the film from start to finish. The original of course is still the real king if we are honest about it but Jackson certainly goes for broke here and does come up trumps with a rollicking boys own adventure full of everything you could need for excitement.

This new version reminded me of many classic old monster flicks like 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' and 'Clash of the Titans' rolled into one, everything from swamps beasties to giant bats to giant leech things manage to devour the hapless seafarers on their adventure into the unknown. Of course cgi is in extremely heavy use for this film with many creatures looking really good yet some maybe not so, sequences involving the cast amongst dinosaurs do tend to come off rather badly and obvious considering it was only made in 05, not just the creatures though as allot of vistas and scenes with cast in the foreground did look very fake from time to time with clear use of bluescreen.

Not quite up to the standards of Spielberg and his 'Jurassic Park' or recent monster flicks but this is easily forgiven as the film is such a fun ride. Starting in New York, with some of the best cgi of the film for sure, the film is grand in presentation and alive with colour and activity as 30's NY is amazingly reconstructed perfectly. We meet the cast and slowly get to known them alittle bit at a time which is unusual for a blockbuster frankly plus this makes up much of the three hour film time. To be honest all cast members are just about fine for their roles accept Jack Black who for me just isn't the right kind of actor for this type of film, he looked the part but came across as restrained and uncomfortable as he's more used to basically being unpredictably insane. Brody also didn't really impress me here with his odd mop of straightened hair and dull awkward performance, hardly a leading man in looks and not really overly effective as an action man either, bad choice in my opinion where as the original choice of Clooney I think would have fitted the bill and era much better.

The effects of course are the main talking point of the film with a mammoth amount of cgi being used and for the most part its all good. New York is a gem when viewed on Bluray, the sea sequences are decent but atad shaky here and there much like the dinosaurs but of course the main attraction is Kong himself who looks spot on and impressively fierce. Must admit I did keep thinking of 'Mighty Joe Young' whenever I saw him haha but Kong does look the business for sure, sequences where he fights the V Rex's are simply brilliant stuff and do the original proud by also managing to recreate move for move most of the old film.
Easily the best monster mash moments involve Kong fighting and roaring, motion capture is finely tuned to make Kong appear as a real gorilla should, his hair is dark and straight, hands and body move as they should in reality, his huffing and puffing is wonderfully done and most impressively they manage to give Kong a soul, a sparkle from within that makes you care for him, you want him to survive with his damsel and seeing him play with 'Darrow' as they build their friendship you really begin to love the big guy, more than you think you could ever do with a computer generated character.

The finale as we know would be impressive and it is right from the get go, Kong atop the Empire State Building is an awesome sight, it just looks damn good, the cam angles used as the bi-planes swarm around and swoop past make you feel the speed and do cause tension combining the height involved and the ever knowing outcome. I must admit I was sweating a touch as Kong leaps from his tiny perch so high up, at the same time you so want him to live and not get killed, the final moment with Darrow in the end is poignant as the score swells and what we all know happens, many kudos to the team for bringing so much to life in these moments.

There really is so much you could say about this film as so much happens and with tonnes of visual flare and panache. Its not totally perfect of course but to be honest the little problems tend to add to the charm of the film. The always handy monster chow that never seems to the form of the scurvy sailors haha there's always one or two sailors around to be eaten by the latest monster to rear its head or if not eaten then get hurled against a huge rock, crushed underfoot or thrown into a deep ravine haha just like the films of old. As said the sequences with cast in the same shot as cgi elements can be dodgy, the Brontosaurus rampage is particularly iffy looking if truth be told.
Must add that some of the action sequences do get abit beyond the realms of acceptance if that's possible hehe the way Kong fights the Dino's and hurls Darrow around in his hands and feet is abit too crazy really, surely she would have been killed of a heart attack or broken limbs by the end of it hehe.

Could nitpick but I won't as the film is a highly enjoyable Indy, Harryhausen safari type romp with everything you could need for pure 100% escapism and adventure, the only thing missing is an erupting volcano.
Super Reviewer
½ August 28, 2011
King Kong is a terrific remake of the 1933 horror film of the same name. With this remake however, Peter Jackson makes King Kong more of an action drama film than a monster/horror film that the 1933 classic film was. Peter Jackson's remake is a good looking picture that keeps the essence of the horror classic, but reworks it to make more thrilling and exciting as the original. Peter Jackson's King Kong is a well crafted remake that successfully comes across as a good film to watch. This film has surprising names attached to it, Jack Black, who I despise delivers a great performance here as Carl Denham, the filmmaker searching for Skull Island. Naomi Watts is really well suited for the classic damsel in distress role of Ann Darrow. Like I said before, this remake is more action oriented this time around, with little emphasis on horror elements like in the 1933 classic. This envisioned film is a wonderful film, but there are a few flaws as well. One being that its too long, and the other it has too much drama going on, I mean there's nothing wrong with the drama, but not when its used for over 85% of the film. I felt they went overboard a bit with the drama. While the original had the perfect balance of thrills and drama, this remake seems try to outdo the original by doing just that. Making the story overly dramatic can't make it boring, and at times this film is most certainly that. But luckily there are plenty of high points as well. Peter Jackson's remake is a terrific film and it has plenty of great performances, but the length of the film could have slightly trimmed down. If they emphasized a bit less on dramatic elements, I think this could have been a shorter film. But for what it is, it's a thrilling film that will deliver the thrills the viewer expects.
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2010
I know plenty of people who hate this film. A lot. Friends that might punch me in the face for giving this more than one star. So, why did I give it 4? Because I thought it was a fun homage to the original King Kong. Seriously, if you're a fan of the 1933 version, give this one at least one viewing. Even if you don't like the overall package, all the little references and homages to the original are fun to watch for. The special effects are a highlight here, Kong is incredibly expressive (and ironically enough) the most human (or enjoyable character) on screen. The rest of the actors do pretty good jobs (Naomi does just fine, building an almost genuine bond with Kong), but why is Jack Black in this? WHY? But the biggest complaint people have with this one is the length of 3 hours and 8 minutes. This is the most credible flaw in the whole film. It is too long considering the material. But I still recommend this one. It's a fun time. Long, but fun. And you could do much MUCH worse (Transformers 2 is 2 and a half hours long and it still felt longer than this did) when it comes to blockbuster action films.
Super Reviewer
½ August 24, 2011
King Kong showcases some of the most visually spectacular CGI I've seen, and has some great performances, but it's sporadic action segments, daydreaming calmer sections and sprawling length make it hard to follow and a bit of a bore.
Super Reviewer
February 13, 2011
Peter Jacksons King Kong is an incredible remake. Ann Dorrow (Naomi Watts) is a beautiful woman who wants to be an actress. Carl Denhem is a movie director looking for the next big thing, and she is the right person for it. He puts her, a crew, and a Male star named Jack Driscoll on a boat heading for an island, but a storm sends them to a mysterious place known as Skull island. There many derranged natives capture these men and prepare to feed Ann to there beast. The beast turns out to be a giant ape, and takes her to deep in the jungle and falls in love with the woman, and fights for her, and in return she grows to car for the beast. The crew and espically Jack want to save, and must pay many deaths to get to her. But when they get to her in time, will they be able to get her away from the mother of all monsters. The movie was underrated by viewers, they didnt understand what an incredible epic this was, and had a short attention span. The effects are tremendous, the story is prestigous, and the acting (even if not Oscar worthy) is great. Peter Jackson has a way of making a old tale incredible again. This movie amazing, and one of the greatest remakes I can think of.
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2011
Carl Denham: Ladies and Gentlemen... I give you... KONG! THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD!

King Kong is just about as epic as movies can come. Peter Jackson did an amazing job with this remake. The movie is extremely long and for a lot of people that is a problem. Not for me, I love long movies. If they are good that is, and this one is great. I love everything about, even the first hour which a lot of people complain about also. Some things are worth being patient for and the last two hours of this movie are definitely among them. Once Kong hits the screen it's two hours of non-stop action and brilliant effects. Endless creature battles, with one of the most epic battles ever; Kong vs. T-Rex. Kong looks absolutely amazing. Every detail of him is flawless. The cast is very good too. I really enjoyed Jack Black and Adrien Brody in this movie and I always love Naomi Watts. The movie looks spectacular and ultimately is a really cool, fun, and entertaining ride. Well worth the three hour running time.
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2008
Awesome film. Never really been into this sort of stuff, but I watched this and took back my judgement on 'action' type films. Truly astounding. Jack Black is never anything but amazing and his acting gets better and better everytime I see him in a film.
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2011
One of the best films ever made.
Super Reviewer
June 21, 2011
KK's success rides on one thing, if you're convinced with the CGI monkey's acting. If yes? It's a fairly solid film. If no? You'll probably hate it.

Considering the film's "silly" premise and the fact that it's a remake; this is far from a failure. It has all the necessary action, thrills, and laughs with adequate emotion to place on.

The art direction is gritty, yet fantastical. If there's one complaint it's the ridiculously overplayed ending and the fact that the entire supporting cast is thrown out the window by the final act.
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2007
This is Peter Jackson's baby; his dream project. You can just tell the love and affection he put forth for this film... this new, bigger, badder King Kong just drips with rabid fan-boy loyalty.
Marc L.
Super Reviewer
May 9, 2011
If you can ignore how long this movie is, you will quickly realize how it is possibly one of the greatest films of all time. Maybe not as good as the original, which I admit I have not seen, but pretty darn good.

The only negative I can think of is that it's so darn long. In the 1st hour of the movie, it seems like more of a romantic comedy. This might turn off most people with good taste in movies, but I guarantee it get's better. But be aware of the longevity before you see it.

The acting was phenomanal. Some people were angry with Jack Black's preformance as Carl Denham, but I actually quite liked it. It was realistic, deep, and sometimes even emotional. Naomi Watts, after seeing this movie, is a recent addition to my greatest actresses of all time. She did a fantatsic, deep job as Ann Darrow. Adrien Brody was fantastic too. Definatley the right choice for Jack.

Of course, the special affects were amazing. Kong was as realistic as it get's, and I heard it took years to get his appearence right. Thumbs up to Peter Jackson on Kong

The relationship between Kong and Ann, which was weird and uncomfortable in the 1970's remake, is actually emotional in this one. They obviously aren;t in love with each other (That would be disturbing), but they are good friends, and we care when Kong is killed at the end.

The fight scene between the V-Rex and Kong was great, one of the best out there. Better than anything Michael bay did in Transformers.

Overrall, this is quite possibly the greatest remake ever. I reccomend it ONLY to very, very patient movie watchers.
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