We’re meant to feel bad when Kong dies – and gee, I hope I didn’t ruin anything – because Jackson slows the speed, cuts the sound, lays on the cut-rate Enya, which is supposed to translate to Heart-Piercing Emotional Impact, but all it does is go back in time and ruin the similar approach in Lord of the Rings; if ever I see those movies again, and I see the ol’ slo-mo w/ mournful vague Celt vocalist regretting something or other trick, I will think, well, he pulled this shite with Kong, too, and that was huffed-up twaddle; wonder if this might be, too.Doesn't much make me want to see Kong, that. I know what Lileks means--I watched A History of Violence last weekend. Howard Shore did the score, and let's just say it sounded like he still had hobbits on the brain. So we've got Aragorn running around on screen with music straight from Lord of the Rings, and we're not supposed to be wondering whether the fellowship is going to break up?
Maybe the makers of A History of Violence did it on purpose, to distract us from the silliness of the movie. (I'd issue a spoiler alert right here, but the movie is not good enough to protect its secrets.) Look, I get that Viggo was a mob killer in a previous life, but when did he go to the mob kung fu academy? And he must have used his Shao-lin skills to mystically train his teen son in the killing arts so the boy could win the epically pointless school hallway fight with the bully who was so ridiculous that he should have been animation just for the fun of it. Rarely have I seen a film that took itself seriously but was so poorly written and awkwardly acted. Let me put it this way, because they were both based on graphic novels: if Sin City had sucked, it would been A History of Violence.