I had the opportunity to see the Peter Jackson-direct King Kong extended edition last night. Now, I know that in choosing to watch the extended edition, I almost can't make this complaint, but I will anyway. That movie was too long.
Uh...there are probably spoilers in here, but not too many and I'll be fairly vague. Story:
I had a hard time figuring out who the main character of this movie was. for about 90 minutes, I would have argued strongly that the movie was primarily about Jack Black's character, Carl Denham. Although, Naomi Watts was a strong contender for much of that portion of the movie, too. Once King Kong showed up, it was hard to determine who starred. Jack Black stayed a strong presence throughout the movie, but suddenly Adrian Brody was a major character and so was Kong. This made it hard to figure out who to root for as the movie moved along.
In fact, almost everyone was likable on some level, so when characters did butt heads, the conflict seemed forced. For example, when Brody's character and Kyle Chandler's character get into an argument, but both sides were valid. In fact, Chandler, the character we're probably not supposed to root for, had the more sensible argument.
Some of the logic went out the window to move the story along. How many lives must be lost to save the life of one? This question was not even asked, let alone answered. Was it an act of chivalry? Was it a time when dozens of men were willing to lose their lives to save the life of one lady, and there was no need to ask the question?
Ultimately, where the movie tries the hardest, and thus fails the most, is with the connection between Naomi Watt's character of Ann and Kong. Especially by the end when she's putting herself in harm's way to try to save Kong. Sure, a giant ape is something special, he saved her life and she had some connection with him. I get that. But he's a giant ape who is killing people and destroying the city. So yes, the army is going to fly in and try and take the giant ape down before more people are killed.
And that takes me to the end. Despite the fact this movie was already clocking in at well over 3 hours by the end, I would have been interested in finding out what happened to these characters after the Kong incident. What did they take away from all of this? We never really find out. The movie just kind of ends. Presentation:
Sounds like a lot of complaining so far, but there were plenty of things to like. Kong looked amazing, as did so many of the other creatures and settings. There were some composite shots that looked fake, but 90% of the time, it looked stellar. Great action and monster fighting from the time they get on the island to the time they got off.
The acting was strong from almost everyone. Perhaps too strong because as I mentioned before, I liked almost everyone. Watts was the weakest, but she had to deal with "Prequel trilogy" acting I'm sure. How many days did she just stand in front of a green screen and emote? That's got to be hard to do.
Good score and good art direction. I dig art deco stuff.
No rewatchable walrus, though I'd be interested in a sequel.