And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


King Kong (2005)

"Humph...don't floss much, do ya?"I have issues with King Kong. A lot of issues.

Forget for a moment that the original Kong was a blatantly racist polemic masquerading as a pulp fantasy-adventure yarn. Forget that no one is willing to even countenance this contention, much less discuss it in a calm, rational manner (perhaps during a double feature: Kong and 1916’s Birth of a Nation). Forget that no one, anywhere, appears willing to question this movie’s informed superiority. Why criticize when you can parrot over seventy years of generalized praise? Hell, its a classic, right? Must be: it came out before 1970.

“The classic film will always be the classic film,” said director Peter Jackson in a recent magazine interview (citation lost thanks to sleep deprivation). He might’ve added, “After all, it’s a classic!” just to drive the stake right through the heart of his point. The slavish worship Kong inspires in its fans honestly sickens me sometimes. (I’m sure this is how Star Wars and Trek partisans feel about each other.) Because what is Kong, really? It’s story, constructed of reliable pulp staples, is hardly revolutionary. Hell, it’s the kind of tale chain smoking writers of the age turned out in their sleep…or their alcohol induced comas. The down-on-her-luck damsel gets a one-in-a-life-time chance to go to an uncharted island and become a monkey’s plaything…or a dinosaur’s bite-sized snack. The damsel, once distressed, needs the quick thinking of a square jawed man to save her bloomer-wearing ass. He does, the movie ends. {More}