Justin Cooper’s review published on Letterboxd:
I have been wanting to watch King Kong since the moment I saw Peter Jackson's remake in 2005. I love what Jackson did with that film and now, after seeing the movie that inspired him, I love it even more. While I think this pales in comparison to the 2005 film, I still liked it and understand why it was so groundbreaking.
I think my biggest takeaway from this movie is that it is almost all spectacle without any semblance of an engaging story behind it. I get that they go on an adventure to make a film at the mythic Skull Island and it quickly turns into a survive-or-die movie (no, there is no love story here) but I didn't care about any of that. I know that a story is there but it isn't well done in my opinion. The characters are all so unlikable and hardly developed too. The performances don't help either as everyone is super one note and bland. I had no idea why Kong was infatuated with Ann and that bummed me out. The script hasn't aged very well either. There is some horrendous dialogue between the men as they talk about women that would not fly today or even twenty-thirty years ago.
But the spectacle in the film is some of the best and most advanced of it's time. Just the creation of Kong himself is iconic but the visual effects throughout the entire film are revolutionary. The other creatures look awesome and the way the scale between the monsters and the humans were portrayed was fantastic. It's a pretty brutal film too that does add an aura of realism. The blood flowing from the mouth of the defeated T-Rex is a great touch and the horror felt when these monsters terrorize the people is palpable. It's fun to watch and I can't imagine what seeing this back in 1933 must've been like.
The score is also absolutely magnificent. Every music beat added to the film and it added more emotion for me than the characters themselves.
Overall, King Kong deserves to have its name in history due to the visionary visual effects and iconic titular character. The spectacle truly is spectacular here and it's worth watching but the most emotional and definitive version of this tale is the one from 2005.
Best Scene: The Empire State Building finale is awesome.