Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Clumsy, Flimsy, Whimsy

The World Trade Centre probably deserved to be destroyed, if only for its starring role in the hideous 1976 remake of King Kong.

In the original 1933 classic by Cooper and Schroedsack, the monstrous monkey carries Fay Wray to the top of the then world’s largest building the Empire State.

By the midseventies it had been eclipsed by the WTC and sheer consideration of records meant that the supersized simian had to carry Jessica Lange to the top of one of the towers.

There being two towers to choose from, it was possible for Kong (lovingly clutching Lange in a hugely hairy paw) to leap from one tower to the other.

He is eventually killed by helicopter gunships and falls off the building but not before gently pushing the heroine to safety. She miraculously appears by the dead ape’s side barely moments later at the base of the towers. Perhaps she survived the jump. Execrable. Al Queeda are merely guardians of good taste.

Peter Jackson went back to source material for his inspiration and took Kong and the heroine (Australian Naomi Watts as the screamstress) back to the Empire State in a dazzling display of CGI. Cynics noted the air force reacts quicker in the 1930s to this Noo York skyscraper drama than they did in September 2001.

Despite the impressive graphics, Jackson takes his usual inordinate time to reach a conclusion and the audience has to squirm through 180 minutes of turgid torture to get to squashed apefruit conclusion.

I think it's time to place a moratorium on Kong and declare him a protected species. No more Hollywood extinction jobs on him for at least 100 years or until the Kongs are repatriated in the wild.

And let's work on getting Kong sized bananas growing on his island so that there is no need for him to show his carnivorous side.

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