Did Superman commit suicide? That's a question not fully answered in this generally compelling detective story that follows Brody's investigation into what really happened to TV star George Reeves, who we meet in flashbacks. Brody is fine in his portions of the film, but his spotlight is stolen away by a surprisingly effective Ben Affleck as Reeves.
The film excels at action both inside Africa and in Manhattan. It however aspires for more than it ultimately can deliver. Note the references to Heart of Darkness throughout. Naomi Watts does superb work here, making you believe that she has feelings with the gorilla. BTW, the lack of chemistry between Watts and Brody hurts worse than serious Jack Black (not half bad).
I love every scene in 'King Kong', but I can admit the thing is too long. Ultimately, it feels like the Extended DVD versions of Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' movies: It's all good stuff, but some of it really should have been cut out for the theatrical release. And yet, there's an extended version of THIS kicking around? I would actually love to see it, because I really enjoyed 'King Kong'; it's just that, unlike the theatrical release of 'Return of the King', it actually feels its length. Better watched in two installments, but I love it.
Pretty Good, Quirky Humor
Reviewed by KHL for Dummy at 2008-04-17 17:26:56
Yes, this movie does have its cliches and sappy moments, but I did enjoy the humor. Adrien Brody is great as the painfully shy Steven who lives at home, along with his dysfunctional family. Illeana Douglas is good as usual playing the high strung and sarcastic wedding-planner sister who has a stalker boyfriend. The highlight of the film is Milla Jojovich, playing Steven's hyperactive, foul-mouthed, tough, chick-rocker friend Fanny who sings in a local band - I guarantee you've never seen her this funny. She should do more comedy, she's very good at it. When Steven loses his job, he takes up ventriloquism and falls in love with his unemployment counselor. With the dummy and Fanny's help, he breaks out of his shell and learns to be less afraid of life.
My wife's review
Reviewed by CoolerKing for King Kong at 2008-04-04 10:25:01
My wife's summary of the problems with Peter Jackson's King Kong was "More Monkey, Less Bull****", and I can't agree more. Everything with Kong is sublime, but everything else - all of the expanded moments from the original that Jackson let run rampant - make the film dull, unfocused, and way overlong. Oh no, the spider pit scene was cut from the original? Maybe there was a reason. Amazing moments buried beneath self-indulgent crap.