You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

No one's exactly going ape over Kong...

...or so says this AP article.

Perhaps Peter Jackson shouldn't have used the remake of this giant ape classic to introduce his new innovation: Odour-Rama.

All right, I'm making that up, but still, many box-office watchers expected a much bigger start for this three-hour epic on the rise and fall of the largest ape to crash the Big Apple since Don Trump started The Apprentice series. Plus, Kong has better hair than "The Donald". (Donald - CGI is the answer, not super mousse.)

Do people have something against gorillas? Maybe they just thought Kong was some remake of an old Dian Fossey documentary? Maybe they thought it was a reissue of the 70's version, with Jeff Bridges as the counterculture (or as we say in the regular world, "hippie") hero who gamely steps aside to let Kong have his way with flaky Jessica Lange's "Dwan"? How did they come up with that name? "Dwan." It sounds like a noise Charles Nelson Reilly would make, when surprised.

Perhaps it's the picture of Kong on the website. He looks really brassed off, kind of like Clint Eastwood in a western, just before he guns down everyone in town except the dance hall girls and his horse.

The plot has grown a bit stale since 1933. It seems the only nuance in the latest version is to humanize the gorilla as much as possible. Still, few people, Nagisa Oshima and Peter Singer aside, are going to care in the end to root for a human/gorilla romance. It's not like they can just rent a flat on the East Side and settle down, even if Kong were a normal gorilla. Let's not even think about kids. Ceasarian section delievery for all of them, don't you know.

I think the problem is that Ann Darrow just leads Kong on to much, the tart. She should have slapped him silly when he bounded through the overbrush, toppling trees and told him to go find a nice lady giant gorilla to settle down with in a bed of giant leaves and Tyrannosaurus Rex bones.

At the very least, she could have given him the "It's not you, it's me..." speech from Seinfeld.

About those trees... In the original picture, I always wondered why, if Kong knocked over a bunch of trees every time he showed up to get a human sacrifice, there wasn't a huge swath of shattered timber stretching for miles back? Did the locals rush out and transfer giant oaks from other parts of the jungle, so that Kong would have something to knock over when he made his grand enterance? They made that huge wall, so I suppose they could have rigged something. Maybe they planted saplings and the prehistoric enviornment is like some sort of Miracle Grow on crack? They are clearly master tree farmers.

Also, if there are Pteranodons and other flying dinosaurs, what flipping good is a giant wall anyway? Wouldn't most of the natives get picked off while building the thing? Do they have some sort of primitive air defenses that we don't know about? I don't expect realism from King Kong, but some "0-level" logic would be a nice start.

Anyway, although many of us would consider $50 million U.S. a fair week at the market, Kong appears to be floundering. It could have been worse though. The producers could have panicked and CGI'd in Kong driving the General Lee and ape-handling Jessica Simpson. Yee.....hah.


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