In which Gerry Hayes keeps his distance for fear of colossal, monkey onanists...
King Kong, 2005.
Directed by Peter Jackson.
Starring Jack Black, Naomi Wattsm Adrien Brody.
Written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson.
Peter Jackson takes another fourteen hours of my life. At least that’s what it felt like. Eighth wonder of the world, my arse.
Another Jackson-helmed CGI epic. Another film that’s at least twice as long as it should be. Wait, wait, I know - we can cram some more computerised monkeys in here. And dinosaurs, yeah, let’s get some dinosaur action. What else can we do? Are CGI kitchen sinks scary? No? Wait, how about big frickin’ bugs?
Jack Black [Yeah, really... I know... I like Jack Black and I can’t figure out what he’s doing here... I do like him... Yeah, fair enough, all his films are tripe but, you know he plays guitar and stuff... Yeah, he opened for Metallica... Yeah, it was a bit crap - fair enough] plays Carl Denham, a dodgy filmmaker. He persuades Ann Darrow (Watts) to accompany him to Skuuuuull Islannnnd (if you could read that in a wobbly, scary, inner-voice that’d be great, thanks) where he’s going to make a dodgy movie. Also along for the trip is handsome, rugged, screenwriter, Jack Driscoll (Brody). Driscoll and Darrow fall for each other along the way.
As if! For a start, screenwriters aren’t handsome and rugged - they’re pale and pasty creatures. Mostly photophobic, their skin has taken on an ashen pallor from years of being lighted only by a computer monitor. Their feeble arms can lift nothing heavier than a mug of coffee and beautiful ladies never fall for them on sea voyages to dangerous islands.
So they find the Skuuuulll Islannnnnd and after a bit of a brouhaha with the natives, Darrow is kidnapped to be offered to their monkey overlord, Kong.
I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but Kong is a massive great gorilla.
Driscoll and some of the others form a search party to, erm, search for her. Along the way, they spend roughly five hours fighting with and being chased by the aforementioned giant creatures. It just goes on for ages. Really ages.
Not, however, as long as Kong’s fight with the frickin’ T-Rexes. Jackson piles more and more ACTION in and Kong, while holding Darrow in one hand, fights off exactly seventy eight dinosaurs. This takes some time - I’d say about seven hours of screen time - and eventually Darrow falls asleep, bored with all the ACTION. Kong takes pity on her and, after the T-Rexes taste dino-defeat, he and Darrow share a tender moment.
Driscoll, not knowing that he’s now one corner of a sickening human/giant-simian love triangle, rescues her and, next thing you know, Kong’s captured and shipped off to New York where they love to stare at freaks.
Before you can say, ‘nothing could possibly go wrong’, it all goes wrong and Kong’s off rampaging through the city. Darrow follows the trail of flung giant-monkey faeces to calm Kong down and they have a romantic skate about on the ice in Central Park. This was the final straw for me and I started shouting at the screen, “It’s rubbish. This film is made out of rubbish. They’re making films out of rubbish. Next thing they’ll be making The Hobbit. You’ve gotta tell them. You’ve gotta tell them!”
So, beauty killed the beast and Peter Jackson killed another bundle of my will-to-live cells. If I were keeping score, he’d be doing pretty well at this stage.
A prize of a giant monkey-turd to anyone that spots the other film I paraphrased in a terrible manner while slagging off King Kong.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Read more I Sat Through That? right here.
Gerry Hayes is a garret-dwelling writer subsisting on tea, beer and Flame-Grilled Steak flavour McCoy’s crisps. You can read about other stuff he doesn't like on his blog at http://stareintospace.com or you can have easy, bite-sized bits of him at http://twitter.com/gerryhayes