I love the original as well, though it’s flawed, of course. Peter Jackson’s version isn’t perfect, either–would that Jack Black had more depth as an actor, there’s just no charm to his con man–but it’s pretty damn close, and emotionally, it hits the mark.
I love that the violence is jarring enough that it makes Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow’s reactions to and feelings for Kong completely believable. I love the Joseph Conrad references and the look of the whole thing. The costumes and set dressing and how seamless the picture is, from Skull Island to period New York. I love that the male movie star gets to be interesting and only brave when it’s absolutely required. I love that the writer gets to be a convincing hero. I love that this island of monsters is the scariest island of monsters ever. That Kong is lonely and alone in such a terrible place. That the costumes of the "savages" at his theatrical debut back in New York quote the native dress in the original. How amazing the visual storytelling is and how little dialogue is necessary. So many, many things. I love that watching this movie made me feel like watching the original did when I was kid.
Most of all, I love the scenes between Watts and Kong. Just as in the original, it’s the interactions between the lady and Kong that steal the show, but I actually think these scenes are better. She is luminous. Not only does she hold her own against Kong (another remarkable turn by Andy Serkis), she’s able to reflect her humanity onto him. Watts is simply WONDERFUL.
I love that this is a huge, huge movie and that it still has so much to say at the personal and the societal levels.
That scene on the ice. Beautiful.