Monday, February 12, 2007

RE: King Kong vs. Crabby Reviewer

I think I'll take the Kong over the crab. There is no doubt that this is a LOOOONG movie, but I saw it in the theater and again just last night on DVD and it managed to hold my interest both times. Now I can imagine that not being the case for everyone and I'm sure they could have released a perfectly entertaining version with a much shorter runtime, but I have to take issue with the rest of the complaint. This story is a tragedy and a damn good one at that.

Personally, I don't think the focus is on how much we should hate the bad guys, but rather on how beautiful and moving the love story is at the center. This lonely creature is the king of his own environment but he's also the last of his kind. After a string of insignificant affairs with various sacrificial maidens over the years, the big guy finally meets one beauty who he can really connect with. Sure this romance is doomed from the start and we all know it, but isn't that the case with all the best love stories? That's what makes the few truly happy moments they have together that much more powerful. In the end when the cruel world finally takes it's inevitable toll, the satisfaction comes from knowing that those few peaceful moments between the T-Rex attacks, the mortar fire, and the biplanes were absolutely the best part of our hero's life. Yes, we're sad when he dies but we're also happy that he finally had love and beauty in his life before it was over. He would have lived longer back on Skull Island but that would have just prolonged the pain of his isolation and he still would eventually have ended up as just one more pile of bones bleaching in the sun.

So you can have your happy endings with the cat making it out of the burning building, but I'll take King Kong, Old Yeller, Casablanca, Romeo & Juliet, and all the other great tragic stories where the hero dies, the dog gets shot, and the woman goes off with the wrong guy. These are the stories that really make you feel both the joy and pain of life and make you realize the whole point is to enjoy what you have while it lasts. In the big picture, nothing, neither the good stuff nor the bad, lasts very long. Well, except for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I thought those movies would never end ;^}


Pete said...

I'm all for tragedies, don't get me wrong. Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Phantom of the Opera, Of Mice and Men....the Twilight Zone episode "Time enough to last."

These are some of my favorite stories of all time, and they're all tragedies. They don't end well for the hero of the piece at all.

I love them. I was angry and unhappy at the end of King Kong, but without the same emotion that would have justified the experience, as was the case with Quasimodo's story, or Lenny's story.

My review was an attempt to qualify it, to quantify the emotion that was missing, I guess.

Fortunately, we don't have to agree, because that'd be really boring. But we're not gonna step outside and trade blows, 'cause it's really cold out there. So we'll just sit here at the bar and grumble, and I'll buy you a beer anyway.

Gregory Adams said...

There is a tremendous amout to love about Jackson's Kong, but I belive that all of it could have been contained in a a far more ecomomical running time.

I felt the same way about Pirates of the C 2: Too much of a good thing.


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