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Wednesday 4th January 2006

Everyone’s raving about King Kong. I found it a bit disappointing. It’s just not very realistic is it? And I’m not really talking about there being a secret island where dinosaurs live side by side with one giant ape: I was happy with that. That’s perfectly possible in my view; though the dinosaurs and the ape fight so much that it’s a bit surprising that anything is left alive – maybe that’s why there is only one giant ape (I think I spotted the giant skellington of another ape which at least helps to explain that Kong wasn’t just a solo freak of nature who came out of an ordinary ape and then just grew and grew). Having suspended my disbelief to accept all this there were just other things that troubled me, beyond the fact that most of the film is just made up of CGI monsters fighting each other. If I wanted that I could just stay at home and watch a video game. Which is in truth pretty much how I spend 80% of my life.
The thing I was most interested in was how the depleted crew of men managed to get this massive chloroformed monster aboard their boat and how they managed to keep him sedated for the long journey back and then how they got him into the theatre that they put him on show. In a film of three hours long I would expect these fundamental issues to be covered. In fact as I sat through the dull first 90 slow minutes where there werenÂ’t even pretend monsters fighting each other I was looking forward to the explanation of how they got him home. Sure they probably drugged him and stuff, but how did they get him into the hold? Was there a crane aboard and also a door big enough to get him below decks? There would certainly have been some excitement in Kong punching holes in the hull or something. That was all I was interested in. To cut straight from him passed out in the water to him chained up in the theatre felt like a con.
And if Ann loved Kong so much then why did she abandon him once he was in New York. Sure she objected to him being taken away from his natural habitat. But given that he had been, why didnÂ’t she hang around to help him, placate him and make sure he wasnÂ’t mistreated. She just washed her hands of the beast and for that I believe she deserved to be thrown from the top of the Empire State Building. ThatÂ’s what I would have done. But only if I was a giant ape. I would never hurt a woman unless I had the fantastic excuse that I was a gigantic simian without a moral system to live by. As a small simian I believe that throwing women off of tall buildings, whilst tempting (especially if they hit you with a badmington racquet) is not acceptable behaviour. Also was it so bad that Kong was brought to New York at all. On Skull Island he was constantly having to fight off giant bat things and Tyrannosaurus Rexes and all manner of other horrible creatures (which had we can assume resulted in the death of the rest of his species, to the extent that he was so desperate for company that he fell in love with a tiny woman who he could never have any kind of satisfactory relationship with, unless he inserted her into himself, which I fancy might be a bit too openly gay for the macho Kong, however frustrated he was). At least in New York he would be able to live a safe life and one of great celebrity if handled correctly. If Ann had hung around she could have show that he was actually a nice guy who despite his violent outbursts, just needed a bit of understanding. Yes he bites the heads off people and throws women to the floor like dolls because they arenÂ’t the one that he fancies, but he has a sensitive side in which he enjoys ice skating and watching juggling. They could have cordoned off a bit of Central Park and Kong could have lived to a ripe old age and never have to worry about wrestling three Tyrannosaurs at once. It would have taken a little time to rehabilitate him, but I think it could have worked and then everyone would be happy. If only Ann had hung around. Aaah, you say, but in New York he faced the greatest monster of allÂ… But you are wrong. A Tyrannosaurus Rex is much more of a monster than man. By miles. And New York is much nicer than Skull Island. At least Kong had a chance of a nicer life there. ItÂ’s a shame that Ann had to ruin it for him.
The other bit I had a problem with was not the man eating worm things (I actually think there might really be some of those), but where Adrien Brody manages to get through the security cordon and get into the Empire State Building. “You can’t go through there!” a policeman tells him. Then Brody hits the policeman and barges passed some armed soldiers. A couple of these armed men chase him to the lift but he just kicks them and gets away. Now if this happened in reality I don’t think he would get away with this so easily. The minute he hit the policeman I think someone might have pointed a gun at him. In fact as he got into the lift I apparently shouted out quite loudly and indignantly, “Shoot
Him!” Not only did this sum up my feelings towards the drippy character, but the unlikely situation, not that there was a giant ape on the top of a large building, but that the army and police capitulated so easily to someone who was disobeying and hitting them. I think it would have been a better film if they had shot him. Who cares about him? Ann loved Kong anyway and what women wouldn’t prefer a brutal ape to some kind of effeminate writer of comedy. Believe me, in the real world they always go for the apes, however much you pretend that you’d like to throw them off the top of a building.
At the end of the film, Jack Black declares that it wasn’t the planes that killed Kong, saying that it was in fact, “Beauty that killed this beast!”
Which to me rather ignores the truth of the matter. It was if anyone, him who killed the beast by bringing it away from its natural habitat and mistreating it to the point where it went on an insane rampage. Ann was (belatedly admittedly) trying to save Kong. Which makes me think the film is an awful misogynist treatise and agrees with the above argument that the monster was safer in New York and that only the indifference of the woman he had loved had driven Kong to go crazy.
Anyway, I didnÂ’t think it was a great film and it would have been improved if there were some hobbits in it (stick to what you know Jackson) or if Billy Elliot had been allowed to do a dance (stick to what you know Elliot). But the bit where Kong breaks the jaw of the T-Rex is awesome and worth the entrance fee alone.

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