King Kong (2005)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Featuring state-of-the-art special effects, terrific performances, and a majestic sense of spectacle, Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong is a potent epic that's faithful to the spirit of the 1933 original.

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Movie Info

One of the greatest adventure stories in Hollywood history gets a new interpretation in this action drama from Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson. In the early 1930s, Carl Denham (Jack Black) is a daring filmmaker and adventurer who has gained a reputation for his pictures documenting wildlife in remote and dangerous jungle lands; despite the objections of his backers, Denham plans to film his next project aboard an ocean vessel en route to Skull Island, an uncharted island he discovered on a rare map. Correctly assuming his cast and crew would be wary of such a journey, Denham has told them they're traveling to Singapore, but before they set sail, his leading lady drops out of the project. Needing a beautiful actress willing to take a risk, Denham finds Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), a beautiful but down-on-her-luck vaudeville performer, and offers her the role; cautious but eager to work, Darrow takes the role, and onboard the ship she strikes up a romance with Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody), a respected playwright hired by Denham to write the script for his latest epic.When Denham and company arrive on Skull Island, the natives react with savage violence, but they happen to be the least of their worries. Skull Island is a sanctuary for prehistoric life, and lording it over the dinosaurs and other giant beasts is Kong, a 25-foot-tall gorilla who can outfight any creature on Earth. The natives kidnap Darrow, giving her to Kong as an offering to appease the giant beast; Denham and his men set out to find her, with Driscoll bravely determined to save the woman he loves. Eventually, Driscoll finds Darrow and Denham outwits Kong, intending to take the giant ape back to New York for display. But Kong has bonded with Darrow, and his attraction to her proves to be his undoing. Andy Serkis, who provided the body movements for Gollum in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings pictures, performed similar duties on King Kong, studying gorillas so he could mimic their actions, which were then used as the basis for the special-effects crew's digital animation of the great ape. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Rating:
PG-13 (for frightening adventure violence and some disturbing images)
Genre:
Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Naomi Watts
as Ann Darrow
Jack Black
as Carl Denham
Adrien Brody
as Jack Driscoll
Thomas Kretschmann
as Capt. Englehorn
Colin Hanks
as Preston
Jamie Bell
as Jimmy
Lobo Chan
as Choy
Evan Parke
as Hayes
John Sumner
as Herb(ert)
Craig Hall
as Mike
Kyle Chandler
as Bruce Baxter
Andy Serkis
as Lumpy the Cook
Mark Hadlow
as Harry
David Pittu
as Weston
Pip Mushin
as Zelman
Peter McKenzie
as Venture Crew
Jim Knobeloch
as Thuggish Executive
Ric Herbert
as Sleazy Executive
Lee Donahue
as Studio Assistant
Tom Hobbs
as Young assistant
Tiriel Mora
as Fruit Vendor
Lee Hartley
as Radio Operator
Ray Woolf
as Helmsman
Billy Jackson
as NY Child
Katie Jackson
as NY Child
Tania Rodger
as Hooverville Mother
Samuel Taylor
as Hooverville Child
Philip Grieve
as Laughing Man
Jacinta Wawatai
as Feral Child
Matthew Dravitzki
as Trampled Theater-goer
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Critic Reviews for King Kong

All Critics (258) | Top Critics (46)

It clocks in at over three hours, but Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 classic is gripping nonetheless.

Full Review… | May 29, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It takes a while to get everybody to Skull Island, about 70 minutes, but it's time extremely well-spent.

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
NPR.org
Top Critic

Kong is a showy, state-of-the-art popcorn movie, faithful to the spirit of the 1933 original but generously adrenalized with the best effects money can buy.

Full Review… | October 31, 2007
Newsweek
Top Critic

Our response to the ape's doom, once touched by authentic tragedy, is now marked by relief that this wretchedly excessive movie is finally over.

Full Review… | December 16, 2005
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Kong has heart, and he's willing to show it in a movie made with wit, excitement and moments of visionary beauty.

December 16, 2005
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

King Kong isn't terrible, but it's something that none of Jackson's previous movies ever was -- it's enervating.

Full Review… | December 15, 2005
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for King Kong

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.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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.

Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

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