King Kong, directed by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame, is outstanding entertainment. I missed it in the theatres, but I had the good fortune to view it on a friend’s wide screen TV complete with surround sound. The 187-minute film held my interest from beginning to end.
The story begins in depression era New York City. A film producer, Carl Denham (Jack Black) has notions about making a film on a remote island. He has an actor lined up for the male lead, but lacks a woman to star opposite him. He comes across Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), a vaudeville performer hungry for food and work, and entices her to join him on ship to sail to the island to make his masterpiece.
Joining them is the author Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody). Ann and Jack quickly form a romantic interest in one another. I smiled at the sight of Jack composing his screenplay in the ship’s hold where animals are normally kept, behind bars.
Once on Skull Island, the action begins and what a ride it is! I flashed back to the Indiana Jones movies, as the nonstop thrills and chills are of a similar intensity. Ann is captured by natives and sacrificed to Kong. The men set off to rescue her, and as they make their way through the jungle, they have to battle some of the creepiest creatures I have ever seen on screen, creatures so awful, I sat curled up on the sofa, hands ready to cover my eyes, emitting sounds of panic as the humans struggled to survive and not be eaten alive. It is adrenaline pumping nonstop action during this part of the film.
Meanwhile, Ann has saved herself from Kong. He is brought back to New York City, and some of you may know the rest of the story, so I won’t say much about the ending. One of my favorite scenes in the film is set in Central Park and is visually stunning as Kong and Ann share a sweet, tender, playful moment together.
King Kong won three Academy Awards, for Best Achievement in Sound, Sound Editing, and Visual Effects. The film is rated PG-13 for frightening adventure violence and some disturbing images. Despite that somber rating, I will definitely see this film again, and highly recommend it to you. It’s a very well developed story with romance and adventure, the actors are great, the special effects extraordinary, and every frame is beautifully rendered to create the times of the depression, the sea voyage, and the beautiful, dangerous jungle.