I just got back from viewing the new King Kong, and feel the need to share my dissapoinment and anger with Peter Jackson. I went with high hopes, I enjoy monster movies, and movies with creatures that kill a lot of people before they themselves are brought down. But this new King Kong was severely disappointing in that respect. It is a three hour movie, and about a third of the dialog is directly related to the movie. The boy Jimmie says it is not an adventure story, Jack Black says that monsters are for B movies. And while it takes a very long time to get to the Island, and to show Kong, it takes very little time to show him fully, and to develop the wierdness between him and Ann. It seems that based on this movie, monsters are not for B movies, they are to be found, and the human elements are to be blown out of proportion, and made to look heroic and noble, while actaul people remain cardboard cutouts, only to be trampled and pushed aside as the true stars, the dinosaurs and the giant gorilla play their parts.
This is truly the noble savage ideology writ very large, on a “twenty five foot gorilla” to be specific. Kong has an appreciation of beauty, while the humans are disfunctional, greedy, and in only one case, heroic. This is beyond disturbing. I like monster movies alot. In most, the great majority, a small band, a remant, eventually prevail. Losses must happen, and the heroes must face trials, but eventually they overcome, slay the beast, and are victorious. This is really a Chrisitian story. Kong is the Pagan answer. The movie is a three hour sermon, beautifully illustrated, and bellowing rhetoric in every impossible fight and stunning scene. Kong is really the highest ape in evolution. Because he is a giant gorilla, he embodies more of the glory of our ancestors than we can by destroying him.
Contrast this with Godzilla. Both come to New York. Both rampage and kill many innocent civilians. The military unhesitangtingly tries to kill both. In Godzilla, they are inempt, but receive a lot of praise for their efforts. In Kong the military intervenes, and by defeating ths beast, by killing a menace to the city, they appear to be cruel because they shoot an “innocent” animal, and uncaring, because they cannot understand that Kong just wants to be left alone with his woman/victim/plaything. (What the Hades is their relationship anyway? Peter Jackson has looked at the map that says “here be monsters”, and is now doing his best to say that they are not monsters. They are playful, gentle to blondes, and can learn and appreciate true beauty. No. We are called to subdue the earth. That includes beasts of all types that may threaten us. If a 25 ft Goriall was rampaging through town, I would kill it, not try to distract it. And I most certainly would dump a girl that loved the brute more than me. Weird does not begin to describe her and Kong.