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Film reviews

King Kong

Title: King Kong

Director: Peter Jackson

Stars: Naomi Watts ; Adrien Brody ; Jack Black

Reviewer: Matt Eccles

Rating (out of 10): 8


Peter Jackson’s remake of the 1933 film that made him want to make movies is long, technically outstanding and, provided an appropriate suspension of disbelief, enormously entertaining.

The budget was a reported record of $207m, but Jackson has ensured it shows. The biggest achievement of the sumptuous, Oscar-winning technical wizardry on display is that the title character almost always looks authentic and convincing, though this is also due in no small part to the motion-captured performance of Andy Serkis. Jackson is also obliged by a terrific leading turn from the ever-reliable Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow, while Jack Black, as weaselly filmmaker Carl Denham, and Adrien Brody, as sensitive screenwriter Jack Driscoll, provide strong support.

One small fault of King Kong is Jackson’s penchant for over-indulgence. In addition to the film’s 187 minute running time, many of the action sequences are so overblown and contrived that they risk raising more incredulous giggles than awe-struck gasps. However, if the film’s premise - essentially concerning the relationship between a struggling actress and an irascible 25 foot ape - is bought into, then the impressively staged incidentals shouldn’t be regarded with too much unfair cynicism.

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