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King Kong (2005)

In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 43 wins & 100 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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William Johnson ...
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Maude
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Storyline

Carl Denham needs to finish his movie and has the perfect location; Skull Island. But he still needs to find a leading lady. This 'soon-to-be-unfortunate' soul is Ann Darrow. No one knows what they will encounter on this island and why it is so mysterious, but once they reach it, they will soon find out. Living on this hidden island is a giant gorilla and this beast now has Ann is its grasps. Carl and Ann's new love, Jack Driscoll must travel through the jungle looking for Kong and Ann, whilst avoiding all sorts of creatures and beasts. But Carl has another plan in mind. Written by Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The eighth wonder of the world.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for frightening adventure violence and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

14 December 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Peter Jackson's King Kong  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended edition)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jamie Bell stayed in character throughout production, never lapsing out of his American accent. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 40 mins) When Ann slides down a muddy slope, her back is covered with very dark mud. When she gets up, her back is clean. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Manny: [practicing sneezes] That's a funny one. Isn't that funnier?
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the closing credits: "This film is dedicated with love and respect to the original adventurers of Skull Island: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Willis H. O'Brien, Max Steiner, Robert Armstrong and ... the incomparable Fay Wray. They continue to inspire all those who follow in their footsteps." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Fat Quiz of the Year (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Sitting on Top of the World
Written by Ray Henderson, Joe Young, Sam Lewis (as Sam M. Lewis)
Performed by Al Jolson
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Flawed Giant
30 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

Don't get me wrong here, I liked this film. It was spectacular, it had considerable emotional resonance, it wasn't a travesty.

Of course in reality a 25ft silverback gorilla would collapse under its own weight, and in many ways that's what has happened to the movie.

As others have noted, it is on the long side and would have benefited from resolute scissoring throughout. Just because you have the resources to show a 10-minute dinosaur stampede doesn't mean you actually have to do it, particularly when a 30-second scene would have told the story just as well. Throughout the movie, time is stretched in order to fit in all the effects - at one point several minutes pass between someone being struck by a spear and hitting the ground.

In addition I remain unconvinced by CGI generally. OK, this probably looks better than any other CGI movie so far, but I don't think we're in any danger of confusing it with reality yet. Rather, we have a spectacular and detailed cartoon.

It's ironic that while one of the central characters here is a combination of PT Barnum-style showman and Werner-Herzog-type visionary obsessive taking his cameras into the jungle, this "King Kong" itself is as far away from Herzogian 'realism' as it's possible to get. Not only do the CGI effects themselves (with the exception of Kong's facial expressions) fail to convince, the filmmakers also have people surviving unsurvivable falls, hanging onto logs and creepers in conditions where any human being would fall, etc. I know this is a Hollywood action movie staple, but it still jolts me out of any suspension of disbelief. OK, CGI is the only way we can have dinosaurs or giant gorillas, but keeping things as real as possible otherwise would help no end with the human side of the story.

Any time a film-maker puts a film-maker into his story it's necessary to consider the relationship between the two. On the one hand we have the studio-bound CGI-nerd making a movie about a seat-of-the-pants explorer-director. On the other we have the "showman" side of Carl Denham, as Driscoll points out, destroying that very "wonder" he sets out to capture by reducing it to vulgar spectacle. You have to ask yourself if that resonance wasn't at least in Jackson's mind when he wrote the theatre scene.

On the plus side, all the themes of the original are here and amplified, from the "we are the real monsters" (with added "Heart of Darkness" reference), through strong hints of ecological parable, to the genuinely tragic love of Kong for Darrow which leads directly to his capture and eventual downfall. The sadness in his eyes throughout is something to behold - as the last of his species he is doomed in any event, ironically it is his compassion which hastens his demise.


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