Monday, August 4, 2014

Size Doesn't Matter

There's no question that the story of King Kong is enduring. That's why it's been remade twice since the 1933 original (including the 1976 version that has Kong tumbling off the World Trade Center, making it a bit hard to watch today), and spawned dozens of cultural spin-offs. 

But in every version, there's always been the uncomfortable question -- the big gorilla in the room, if you will -- sure, Kong loves Ann Darrow (well-played in the latest version by Naomi Watts). But what exactly is he supposed to do with her?

The Peter Jackson reimagining, which I watched again late one night recently, tries to answer that question. When Kong breaks out of his chains at the theater and lopes through Manhattan smashing cabs and movie marquees, he's looking for Ann, grabbing every blond he sees and tossing them away in disgust when he sees they're imposters. Suddenly his obsession appears to him on the street, walking toward him through the chaos of crowds fleeing in horror. 

While every frame in the film has a painterly sheen and the CGI recreation of Depression-era New York is exquisitely detailed, the reunion of the two star-crossed "lovers" is moving. And to celebrate it, Kong and his girl enjoy a charming skating session on a frozen pond in Central Park, twirling and spinning on the ice before their revelry is shattered by cruel gunfire. 

So now we know: love conquers all, and size doesn't matter. 

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