So I went to see King Kong this afternoon. It was great fun, but it's never going to replace the original in my affections. I'm sure I'll be watching the original again because I'm getting the "Collector's Edition" for Christmas, but I doubt that I'll watch Peter Jackson's version a second time.
I believe there have been complaints that the movie's too long because of the long build-up to the arrival at Skull Island. I didn't really feel that way. I liked the first hour at least as well as the rest of the movie. What seemed a bit long to me were the action scenes on the island, but then I'm getting crakier about drawn-out action scenes as I get older, I think. What impressed me were the quiet scenes, both in the beginning, the middle, and the end.
I was also impressed by Naomi Watts' performance. She's actually better than Faye Wray, but only because her part is written better. Watts' relationship with Kong is certainly fleshed out more than Wray's, and there's a lot more poignance in it.
The casting of Jack Black worried me from the beginning, but he did all right. He plays to the dark side of Carl Denham, and his line reading in the "I've come into the possession of a map" scene is just fine. I wasn't so taken with his reading of the famous final line, and anyway, the line seems all wrong in this movie. It's pretty clear that it's not beauty that kills the beast. It's greed and ego and showbiz that do him in.