Perhaps I'm not the best person for the average Joe to accept an opinion on Peter Jackson from... I'd say I'm one of the best people to accept it from, as I'm rational and non-emotionally-involved in my decisions about his filmmaking, unlike hordes of nerds. That being said, I think Peter Jackson is a suck-ass hack director who has, as of yet, gotten famous and cruised by on making dork-centric movies with more effects than talent involved. King Kong does nothing to change that opinion and I'd be hard-pressed to imagine Jackson fans enjoying this big mass of over-long shit.
Whatever your opinions on the Lord Of The Rings movies, they definitely covered a large amount of source material in a relatively tight time frame (though there was definitely room for streamlining). It always seemed like things were moving so quickly that it felt hollow and unexciting. King Kong is the exact opposite of this phenomenon.
King Kong is not strong source material to begin with and I have trouble believing that anyone could make anything compelling from the "giant monkey visits the city" concept. Basing your entire movie, almost note for note, on the original film doesn't do anything to make it a more progressive or interesting film.
I will sum this much up quickly for you: the movie is too fucking long. Far too long for the amount of things that actually happen. Now, I will proceed to vent and bitch rather openly...
The first act, the opening hour of the film, is actually somewhat interesting. It begins as a character drama about struggling actress Naomi Watts getting involved with stupid asshole director Jack Black, who does a fine job of playing stupid assholes for reasons that are becoming obvious. They, of course, board a boat and make the journey out to Skull Island to make a movie. The interactions and initial setup of the film are relatively promising and it's a damned shame that none of it is paid off. There are also mentions of Heart Of Darkness that make for a nice subtext... Until it starts beating you over the head with it, actually going so far as to explain the plot of the book and compare it to the situation openly, making the former subtext seem tawdry and stupid.
After arriving at the island, having run-ins with the natives, and losing people left and right, we begin the long second act with the introduction of Kong. This leads on for an hour as the film takes severe liberties with anything involving science, ecology, biology, or anything we've learned from study of dinosaurs about how the beasts lived and behaved, going far beyond just simple creative license. This hour of film beats the viewer over the head with effects, fighting, and general spectacle, losing any sense of plot it had. This is where I lost all interest in the film.
I think the thing that bothered me most about it was how it didn't even attempt logic or realism in anything about the natural environment of the island or the actions of the people in response to it. It was all just a game of Mousetrap, setting up pieces to fall over in their Rube Goldberg-esque order.
First of all: the Tyranosaurus Rex wasn't much of a hunter, more of a scavenger, and required very little food to survive, unlike most other animals, which usually require a large fraction of their body weight in food to survive. To have a Tyranosaurus with enough food in its mouth for a week trying to hunt more (human) food while chewing is ludicrous and irresponsibly unlike the action of any creature in the animal kingdom. This happens again several times, though, proving a total indifference to logic. Second: they didn't hunt in packs. They weren't really joiners. Third: they were definitely not known for their confrontations with larger animals and virtually no beast goes up against another larger animal for a pointlessly small morsel of meat that could be found elsewhere just as easily. Fourth: animals don't usually eat just anything that comes along. They generally hunt the prey they're used to, not strange shit they know nothing about and could die from eating.
Now, why we'd then have about ten to fifteen minutes of three Tyranosaurs fighting a monkey over a tiny woman is beyond me. Especially since the muscle strength of an ape would be enough to kill a reptile in about ten seconds. But it drags on forever, the giant lizards being more interested in trying to devour the woman than they are in their own safety.
On top of this, the Brontosaur stampede was infinitely stupid and wasted another ten minutes of my precious time. There are more bizarre problems with this section than are worth mentioning, so I'll just say - why the fuck didn't they just get out of the way, instead of trying to run along in front of the careening giants? And the raptor-like dinosaurs giving chase should have been hunting in a pack, but they seemed to be trying to take on herbavores about twenty times their size solo, which would be as ineffective as you could imagine. And, what, was the raptor going to eat an entire Brontosaurus by itself?
Then we have giants bats... That try to eat people. And attack a huge monkey for no reason whatsoever, other than as a necessary plot contrivance. Bats, if you're not following along at home, tend to eat insects. Maybe they parasitically draw off a little blood in some cases. They don't look like rejected effects from Underworld with four inch fangs, trying to chew up a monkey for no good reason.
Giant bugs... Are you fucking kidding me? Worms trying to eat people? Giant crickets attacking mammals? Insects swarming, all together, to get the warm-bloods and having no problem with each other, instead acting in unison? You're fucking killing me, you idiotic hack. And then people sharp-shoot them off of people's faces with Thompson machine guns? Right. One good shot apparently explodes insects, despite the fact that this is a time that the insects actually would realistically keep going for fifteen more minutes, huge chunks blown out of them, unlike the dinosaurs. Thank Christ it didn't though, as the scene was already entirely unnecessary.
Anyway, this action-y bullshit drags on for the entire hour, scene after scene of senselessly long-winded adventure and shit that should have hit the cutting room floor (or never been filmed in the first place).
To chase all this indignity down our gullets, the very human monkey is taken by the very inhuman humans back to New York and is flaunted about for the final forty-five minute act, which consists entirely of a long, soulless attempt to make us pity the ape and hate all the people, a condition that's been steadily increasing since the first hour.
By the time the ape is on the loose, hunted and hounded by the military, we're seeing everything through only the perspective of Kong and Watts, leaving every human as a stone-faced and emotionless automaton, no one delivering so much as a line. The whole thing seems like nothing more than a hugely cynical ploy to make the audience weepy. It's tear-baiting bullshit and the story really serves no purpose and teaches us no real truth about life other than "people are naughty to animals." If only Kong had just dropped a nuke on the entire city and ended it all.
In the end, whatever merits the film has are lost in the second two hours of mindless spectacle and treacley shit.
It's in the best interest of everyone if we just forget about the movie and Peter Jackson entirely.