Not-So Special Effects

        While Peter Jackson's remake of the classic adventure-fantasy King Kong was a great piece of work, I am left wondering if the general audience is left jaded by what advancement of technology may have done to appreciation of the original film. In 2005, Jackson, who also directed all three Lord of the Rings movies, among others, gave us a reconstruction of a film, that in its original version was full of horror, adventure, romance, and clever, revolutionary technical innovations of the time including rear projection and trick photography, as well as a beautiful musical score.

        In his 2005 version, Jackson does indeed portray a pretty accurate plot line in comparison to the original. But his depiction adds many drawn-out scenes full of special effects and computer-generated monsters. The scenes on the island were well developed, yes, but in my opinion, were too much. It is true that Jackson has wonderful talent in the fields of film production and special effects, and there are many films warranted of this amount of special effects. I feel that the movie essentially became about the special effects, rather than the romance between Kong and Ann.

        Aside from special effects, I also felt that the "goodbye" scene for Ann (Naomi Watts) and Kong was given too many chances, although I really like the new theme and relationship that develops between the beast and his captive. Ann grows to love Kong, as opposed to the ever-fearful Ann (Fay Wray) of the 1933 version. There is also some really great cinematography in these scenes that definitely create the emotion of a poignant farewell, but the multiple numbers of them takes away from the scenes' own power and strength. One great scene between the beast and the beauty would have revoked a much more prevailing moment in the hearts of the audiences, rather than several small, less concentrated ones. Instead of building tension, these several scenes acted as an anti-climax for me, because, frankly, by the time Kong fell, I was relieved.

        The original film employed many talented, genius tactics for the film industry of the time, and the new version offers a good alternative to the original with a more realistic interpretation. Still, I cannot but help feel like a certain amount of art is lost with the replacement of hands-on, special effects development. When the visual art of film begin to be completely created digitally, we lose that unique quality and appreciation of hand-crafted deliverance. I enjoyed both films, but still, and will continue to hold Cooper's more innovative version closer to heart.

Marilyn Kennon

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