Less a remake of the 1933 original than a rebuke. Ballooning to gigantic proportions what was already a bulky metaphor – the gorilla as tragic, unrequited lover – this King Kong is for those who always found the saga silly rather than mythic. Any movie with Jessica Lange’s aspiring starlet Dwan orgasmically enjoying the heat of Kong’s breath after taking a waterfall shower is playing up the story’s inherent absurdity to the point of camp. Lange, in fact, is orgasmic in nearly every scene – it’s no wonder the ape picks up on her come-hither scent. Then there is odd man out Jeff Bridges, uneasily trying to anchor a potential blockbuster as a hippie scientist who stows away on the expedition. I’m not sure which is more jarring – Bridges’ lackadaisical line readings in his early scenes or his maniacal devotion to the material during Kong’s climactic death. The special effects, for their part, hold up surprisingly well, allowing the movie to offer a few of its own mythic moments, from the wall of fog that surrounds Kong’s island to the forlorn sight of his hand slowly rising from the giant pit which is used to initially capture him. Such touches suggest the filmmakers weren’t completely ignorant of the original movie’s primal pull. If only they hadn’t been so embarrassed to admit it.