King Kong (1976)
King Kong is a 1976 American kaijū film directed by Jon Guillermin (who was well known for directing this disaster movie The Towering Inferno almost two years ago), and it's a remake of the 1933 film of the same name, the film was released on December 17, 1976, and mixed reviews from critics, especially from admirers of the original King Kong. However, it did obtain positive reviews from some prominent critics but was a box office success. This is the only King Kong to feature Kong on the World Trade Center instead of the Empire State Building.
Oil company executive Fred Wilson (Charles Grodin) and his team set out to an uncharted island to seek oil. As soon as they set out, primatologist Jack Prescott (Jeff Bridges) sneaks aboard the Petrox Explorer to issue dire warnings about the island being home to an ape that, if provoked, could kill them. At first, he is almost thrown off but is saved when a lifeboat carrying an unconscious woman (Jessica Lange) drifts into view. The crew bring the woman aboard and learn her name is "Dwan" and overtime, Dwan and Jack start getting to know each other.
Upon arriving on the island, they meet a tribe of primitive natives that kidnap Dwan and give her to King Kong, the ape Jack was referring to. Jack then follows Kong off into the jungle to save Dwan, while Wilson stays behind. Kong then fights off a giant snake just as Jack comes to save Dwan. Kong is then taken to New York City, where he escapes, killing Wilson in the process. The U.S. Military arrives and evacuates as Kong gets Dwan again and heads to the Twin Towers to hide, as they resemble two stone pillars back on the island. Helicopters attack Kong and kill him, leaving Dwan to mourn him.
- Poor grasp of the source material, as it doesn't bother to recapture the spirit of the original 1933 film.
- The plot is modernized for no reason and set during the 1970s to be consistent with the movie's release date, and with the movie's climax being set on the World Trade Center's Twin Towers rather than the Empire State building of the original 1933 movie. Fortunately, the later 2005 movie stays true to the original 1933 movie thus in the same timeline and considered a true remake rather than a modernization.
- Dwan is portrayed as a stereotypical dumb blonde and a replacement for Ann Darrow.
- King Kong is now a literal "sexual predator", which is very out-of character of him to do that.
- Kong doesn't act like an actual gorilla-like he did in the original 1933 film but instead acts like a man in a gorilla costume (because it is in fact a man in a gorilla costume).
- Wilson's plan is unrealistic and makes no sense.
- The pacing isn't all that good.
- The poster for the movie, while passible for late 70's standards, still looks a bit strange depending on how you see it.
- Director John Guillermin's apparently didn't learn from his mistakes when producing this film, and therefore the sequel King Kong Lives managed to be even worse.
- Amazing soundtrack.
- The ending is actually emotional.
- It had some alright effects with the exception of the King Kong suit than the stop-motion armature from the original 1933 film.
- Kong fights a giant snake and rips it apart, which was pretty cool.