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My friends realized while rewatching this that King Kong Lives should've been called Bride of Kong, and that makes that movie suck even harder that they didn't go with that.
This movie accepts from the get-go that it is a slashed budget cashgrab sequel to a watershed picture, and tries to do the best in earnest with its circumstances. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with it at all, and it's certainly more tolerable than any other gorilla-row picture in the years before and after Mighty Joe Young.
King Kong is a seminal monster film, a visual marvel, a technical milestone, but above all, it is a simple fairy story and cautionary tale that unfolds like a lucid dream. The way the light filters through the jungle on the island is memorizing, and the matte paintings of the expanse of the island atop Kong's lair are breathtaking.
I time and time again believe the existing reissue trailer said it best: "Wild, weird, wonderful! The stuff for which movies were made. Adventure, to make you wonder if it's true, while your eyes convince you that it is. Truly, the thrill of thrills."
The eerie draining of Lake Kitayama is phenomenally executed as is the demolition of the Ogouchi Dam, the latter sequence being even greater than EIji Tsuburaya's spectacular effort in Mothra from twelve years earlier.
The slow, plodding choreography of Hedorah and Gigan is exchanged for a fast-paced, TV toku-style royal rumble, the best pure suitmation brawl in the series since King Kong vs. Godzilla.
say mean, condescending things about this movie and I will harm you