This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
William Li’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
You know, it probably wasn't the best idea to watch a movie at 1:00 am, but by God, was it worth it.
King Kong, directed by Merian C. Cooper and , tells the story of Carl Denham, a director who strings along a woman he meets on the streets, Ann Darrow, as his main star for his next picture, which is at Skull Island, a mysterious place not even on the map. Here, after meeting the native tribe of said island, Ann is kidnapped and used as the 'bride' for the titular character. Ann escapes Kong with help from the first mate of the ship they use, Jack Driscoll, and Carl Denham suggests that they bring Kong back to show the world.
Of course, things don't go as planned. Thinking that the photographers at his first New York appearance were trying to attack Ann, Kong goes, well, ape-shit (The writer is not sorry for the pun). He destroys his chains and terrorizes New York, including re-kidnapping Ann.
As Kong starts climbing the Empire State Building, for no apparent reason, arguably the most famous part of the movie starts. He climbs to the top of the building, get's shot by planes, lets Ann go, and falls. And thus the movie ends, with Carl Denham saying the most famous line in the movie: 'It was beauty killed the beast.'
Now, I am pretty sure that we can all agree on this: the most impressive part of this movie are the special effects. Groundbreaking for the time, it was a combination of stop-motion, translucent acetate/cellulose rear screen and various other effects that brought Kong and the creatures of Skull Island to life.
The cinematography is great, with some beautiful shots of the native tribe and the Empire State Building. One shot in particular reminded me of D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, which is a must see for old film buffs.
If there was one thing I would change, it would be the revision of Ann Darrow as a character. For most of the movie, the only thing she does is scream. Granted, being kidnapped by a 21-feet-tall ape is terrifying, but she could've at least done something. But all in all, this did not hinder my viewing experience, and Fay ray's scream is iconic in its own right.
In conclusion, King Kong is a technical masterpiece and I highly recommend it. If you like monster movies, see it; if you like old movies, see it; heck, if you like movies in general, you owe it to yourself to see it.