Thursday, December 15, 2005

King Kong released

I just saw King Kong, and it was better than I expected. I was surprised at how closely it tracked the 1933 version. In particular, it was just as politically incorrect:
Pinkerton writes: Any movie that features white people sailing off to the Third World to capture a giant ape and carry it back to the West for exploitation is going to be seen as a metaphor for colonialism and racism.

Movie reviewer David Edelstein, writing in SLATE, notes the "implicit racism of KING KONG - the implication that Kong stands for the black man brought in chains from a dark island (full of murderous primitive pagans) and with a penchant for skinny white blondes."

Comparing the new film with the original, the WASHINGTON POST's Stephen Hunter observed, "It remains a parable of exploitation, cultural self-importance, the arrogance of the West, all issues that were obvious in the original but unexamined; they remain unexamined here, if more vivid."
What disappointed me was that the movie was twice as long as the original, and yet it offered very little that was not in the original. All the good scenes were direct copies. I thought that the $200M would buy something more.

Update: I just watched the original 1933 movie again. It is as good as I had remembered. In some ways, it is a more convincing movie than the remake.