Island of the Lucky Blonde Woman
I went to see King Kong last night with a group of friends. The sad thing is, it could have been a pretty good movie. The effects are awesome, and parts of the movie are actually enjoyable. But the movie is over 3 hours long - it didn't need to be more than 2, but I get the sense that Peter Jackson doesn't know how to make a movie that is less than 3 hours. There are scenes that go on interminably. Screaming and screeching natives preparing a screaming and screeching Ann Darrow for sacrifice to Kong seems to never end, and did I mention that it is filled with screaming and screeching? In an effort, I'm sure, to show off the great special effects being employed, a stampede of brontosauruses lasts forever, but at least it provides a theory to how the dinosaurs became extinct. Apparently they were the stupidest creatures to ever walk the face of the the earth and all died from stupidity.
And the movie is so over the top in places that is completely boggles the mind. Miraculous rescues ala deus ex machina happen so often that after a while it is hard to feel any real suspense. You just know that the cornered characters are going to be saved at the last minute by some minor (or major) miracle that will completely defy belief (like Jack and Ann hitching a ride on a flying bat/lizard thing). Ann repeatedly gets so lucky in escaping impossible situations that I think Skull Island should probably have been called Island of the Lucky Blonde Woman.
Then there are the places where Jackson drags out really over the top scenes to really unbearabble lengths. There is the scene where Kong battles not one, not two, but three tyranasaurus rexes for what seems like forever. At various times throughout that scene Kong is portrayed as boxer (he seems to favor the right hook), professional wrestler (he can really throw those dinosaurs around), black belt martial artist (who knew that a big gorilla would be so good at spinning jump kicks?) and cirque du soliel gymnast. Kong and rexes battle it out in the jungle (for forever), at cliff's edge (for forever) and in a maze of vines (for forever) that fortunately fills a deep gorge. Had it not been for those vines, Kong, the rexes and Ann all would have fallen to a gruesome death. Wait, maybe that wasn't so fortunate. If they had all fallen to their deaths, the movie would have been over in 90 minutes. That would have been a blessing. In another scene, several characters are attacked by barrage after barrage after barrage after unending barrage of really big, disgusting bugs. Huge grasshoppers and worms (with really big, sharp, menacing teeth that they never actually use) and spiders and centipedes and dung beetles and scorpions and so on and so on attack our heroes in wave after wave until clearly there is no way they can possibly survive, but of course miracle happens and they are rescued. In one of the most ridiculous scenes within that scene, one character (who it is repeated made clear to us, has never shot a gun before) actually shoots a mass of giant grasshoppers off of another character with a machine gun. He fires hundreds of shots and never once manages to hit the other man, he just miraculously manages to shoot every single one of the bugs attacking the man. And during all of this, for some reason, the other bugs all leave him alone. The real problem is, there is never any real tension in any of these scenes, because you know miracles will take place to save the heros and allow them to go on to the next belief defying danger.
Generally those two things (never ending scenes and outrageously over-the-top plot elements) combine to make the movie pretty unbearable. The New York portion of the movie is somewhat better and moves along more fluidly, but even it tends to drag. And by that point in the movie, I was so ready for it to be over, that I just couldn't care too much about what was going on.
Anyway, that was 3 hours of my life I'll never get back. My recommendation? Time is precious....don't let this happen to you!