King Kong | Chicago Reader

King Kong

It's madness to try to remake a myth, but even so, John Guillermin's jokey, low-camp film (1976) seems awfully inadequate. Instead of the primal antisocial fantasy of the Schoedsack-Cooper original, Guillermin and his screenwriter, Lorenzo Semple (the man responsible for the 1966 Batman, which should give you some idea) serve up labored puns (an oil company named Petrox), self-parody (clutched in a giant paw, the Fay Wray character wonders what Kong's astrological sign is), and a guy in an ape suit (the much heralded 40-foot robot makes only one brief, unimpressive appearance). Reducing one of the most compelling cultural icons of the century to a comic book character, this $22 million project makes a passable kiddie show, and not much else. PG, 134 min.

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