You Drive Me Ape, You Big Gorilla

Kate is at her Dad’s this weekend, so Nik and I are having some adult time. Last night we finally went to see King Kong. I had hoped to see it over Xmas break, but Kate would not go for it. When she was wee, a zoo gorilla scared her and since then gorillas are one of the few animals Kate does not adore. It’s for the best that we did not take Kate to Kong, what with the multi-mouthed worm-creatures that decapitate hapless sailors and all. Had we done so, I’d probably never live it down. Kate still gives Nik guff over the movie that ends with an otter being beaten to death with a shovel. That was not the cute and fuzzy animal experience she was looking for and Kong certainly would not have fit the bill either.

I ultimately found King Kong to be a disappointment. When it was initially announced, I was lukewarm. Over the last six months, however, my interest was piqued to the point that I really wanted to see it. Then at about the two-hour mark of the actual experience my enthusiasm began to wane. It felt to me like a team of super creative people went hog wild and lost sight of the story they were trying to tell. It’s not enough for Kong to fight a T-Rex, he has to fight three T-Rexes. The party doesn’t get attacked by giant spiders, but by a dozen different types of creatures in apparently limitless numbers. Then there was the “Jimmy” subplot, which I just didn’t care about and sucked up way too much time. And the less said about the dino stampede the better. All these indulgences lead to a film that is bloated and overlong by an hour. At a certain point, I was like, “Oh, just take him back to NYC already!” Now there was some neat stuff and the effects were largely very good, but I ended up liking Chronicles of Narnia much better than King Kong. That I did not expect.

There is a Kong art book I want to get though. Christian Gossett, the guy who created the Red Star comic that my company licensed, went to New Zealand to work at Weta Workshop on the film. He told me that the artists did so much concept artwork, much of which couldn’t be used in the movie, that they decided to do a book that reports on a fictional expedition to Skull Island. I flipped through it a couple of weeks ago and it looks quite cool. It’s really not the far from an RPG sourcebook actually, just missing game stats. I’ll be picking that up when I have the chance.

Props to the Dickies for the entry title.

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