King Kong

Epic Action adventure. The remake of the famous story about the huge ape who falls in love with a woman. All right, I loved it. The first hour was 2x too long, cheesy acting, poorly written with very unbelievable obstacles in each scene that made it feel inauthentic. And Adrien Brody as the “human” love interest and Jack Black as the greedy movie producer were serious miscasts in my mind. They cheapened the class of the film. But once Kong enters, the exciting story begins. The middle hour may well be the most amazing CGI dinosaur and creature feature movie ever. And I am a huge fan of the original. It inspired my love for movies when I was a kid. So despite its flaws this remake is a worthy remake in my mind that brings the story to a whole new generation in a legitimate way, unlike remakes of Psycho and others. Okay, the power of this story is in the mythic nature of Beauty and the Beast. The reason it rings so true is its metaphoric analogy to how beauty tames or “kills” the beast in the hearts of men. This theme is particularly meaningful to me because I absolutely love the beautiful. Kong is of course the absolute extreme of the “animal” nature in men, but as such, I really relate to him, with how my wife’s presence in my life tames the negative wild side of me in some ways. God, however is the ultimate tamer of my sin nature, but the beauty of my wife (and not merely her outward, but also her inward beauty) is a means of grace for me. This is the power of beauty for affecting us. And this understanding I think is neglected by many in a world of modernity with its rationalism and obsession with logic and science. Beauty can be just as much a carrier of truth as logic or reason. But our modern minds have been raped by Enlightenment Rationality and as the Romantics suggested, we reduce everything to machines and mathematics and chemicals, thus losing beauty, and with it, truth. Anyway, in this story, the point about beauty is made very clearly when Kong sits on his ledge overlooking Skull Island and the vast ocean and he just looks out and Ann Darrow, his captive, motions to him with her hand to her chest, a gesture that means “Beautiful” obviously a reference to touching the heart. Later, on the Empire State Building, Kong looks out over the vast sea of New York and does the gesture for beauty to her. A very touching and powerful moment of grace. The weakness of this incarnation of Beauty and the Beast as compared to the original, however, is that at the end of the story, Kong is still just an ape, an animal, and as such is not created in God’s image, and cannot make true spiritual human connection – which is why Jackson has a human love interest for Naomi Watts (Ann) in Adrien Brody, who overcomes his “male” animal-like inadequacy of not communicating, and runs into her arms after Kong dies. It is in the realm of the human where eternal transcendence is achieved. HOWEVER, seeing this as myth or metaphor lightens the load a bit. It is not realism. I just prefer the original Beauty and the Beast in its humanity.

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