I’m definitely seeing King Kong in the theaters (Narnia I can wait on until it goes to a second-run theater…or maybe I’ll take Alicia to see it). The reviews do make me fully aware of the problems people are having with Kong: it’s hella long, melodramatic, self-indulgent, and more like the work of a nine-year-old reciting why that movie he saw was so really really really really really cool.
But to everyone who’s hated it, remember: Peter Jackson likely will never make a movie like this again. People who know him say that his experience seeing King Kong as a boy affected him so profoundly, it practically (as a Newsweek guy put it) rewrote his DNA; this is a movie, and a remake, he feels deep in his bones, deep enough that he paid for much of the budget overrun himself. Think. About. That. That’s a George Lucas move (remember, Lucas paid for the entire budgets of five of the six Star Wars movies – all but the first, and by far the least expensive, film). On a smaller scale, that’s what Mel Gibson did with The Passion of the Christ. Jackson’s used his own money to make this happen. You don’t do that with a safe film. You don’t do that with friggin’ Scooby Doo flicks. So yeah, I support Peter Jackson’s desire to do a screaming-mad movie that pays tribute to (in his opinion) the greatest, coolest, best-est movie ever…and that unleashes his inner nine-year-old, giving the boy-Peter $207 million to play with.
The adult version of him, the part of him that made the Lord of the Rings films and Heavenly Creatures, will be back. And I’ll be in line.
Unless I decide King Kong really sucks.