- NOTE: This article is about the version of King Kong from the Peter Jackson continuity. You may be looking for information on his mainstream counterpart.
|“||Ladies and Gentlemen... I'm here to tell you a very strange story. The story of our adventure... in which 17 of our party suffered horrible deaths... their lives lost... in pursuit of a savage beast... a monstrous aberration of nature. But even the meanest brute can be tamed. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, as you will see... the beast was no match... for the charms of a girl. A girl from New York... who melted his heart... bringing to mind that old Arabian proverb... "And lo, the beast looked upon the face of beauty... and beauty stayed his hand. And from that day forward, he was as one dead." And now ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to show you the greatest thing your eyes have ever beheld. He was a king in the world he knew, but he comes to you now a captive. Ladies and gentlemen... I give you Kong, The Eighth Wonder of the World!||„|
|~ Carl Denham.|
King Kong, or simply known as Kong, is the titular protagonist of Peter Jackson's 2005 live-action remake adaptation of the same name.
This version is the last of a prehistoric species of huge gorillas called Megaprimatus kong which inhabited the isolated Skull Island and was the object of worship by the derelict human tribe still inhabiting the ruins of a once-great civilization on the island. Kong has lived a solitary and lonely existence on his home, faced with a multitude of other colossal prehistoric beasts which were far more violent than him. Unfortunately, Kong's reign ended when a film crew arrived on Skull Island in 1933 and captured him before bringing him back to New York City as the centerpiece for a broadway show, until he broke free and wreaked havoc, eventually leading to his downfall on the Empire State Building.
He was portrayed by Andy Serkis in motion-capture, who also played Lumpy in the same film, Caesar from the Planet of the Apes reboot franchise and voiced Captain Haddock from The Adventures of Tintin.
Not much is known about Kong's backstory, but it's confirmed that he came from a family group of giant apes known as Megaprimatus Kong and learned to survive on the harsh environment that is Skull Island. At some point in time, Kong became the sole survivor of his kind and was worshipped as a god by the Skull Island natives who presented human sacrifices to him.
In 1933, Carl Denham's cast and film crew arrived on the island. After Denham unintentionally provoked the Skull Islanders, Mike (the sound designer) is killed, causing Ann to scream in terror. Ann's scream caused Kong to respond by roaring back, encouraging the shaman to use Ann as a sacrifice. Later that night, the Skull Islanders abducted Ann and offered her as a sacrifice to Kong. The giant ape answered to the tribal music and inspected Ann, touching her face with his massive hand before grabbing her and taking her into the jungle towards a rock ledge where the corpses of Kong's previous sacrifices lay scattered. Ann however, jabbed his hand with spikes on her ceremonial necklace and made a run for it. Kong quickly recaptured her and brought her to an ancient ruin where, when Ann appeared to him to be sleeping, he sat down to rest so he can eat some bamboo.
Upon discovering that she had escaped, Kong made his way behind the ruins and slammed his great forearms down to trap Ann and he moved all around to prevent her from leaving. However, much to Kong's confusion and eventual amusement, Ann used her training as a dancer and a comedian which worked. However, when she needed rest, Kong simply knocked her down a few times, hooting with laughter and excitement. Despite this, she soon got weary and pushed his hand away, refusing to allow Kong to push her around anymore. Kong throws a tantrum and started to hurl rocks and trees off a cliff in a frenzy of anger, but calms down after he is struck on the head by a falling boulder, nearly knocking him out cold and realizing the shifted in dominance. However, upon sensing the presence of the explorers in the jungle who are searching for Ann after they got caught between a herd of Brontosaurus and a pack of Venatosaurus, Kong left to investigate, leaving Ann all alone.
Hiding in a cavern, Kong spied Benjamin Hayes and charged at the man after he shot at him, snatching him up and eyeing the latter with curiosity for a few seconds before throwing him against the far rock wall of the pit beneath the group. In response to Hayes' death, Jack Driscoll and the rest of the search party began to open fire on Kong, angering him to the point he began to shake and push the giant log they are standing on loose, causing the search party to fall down deeper to the deepest part of the caverns, where they are attacked by giant insects and worms, resulting in the deaths of three more crew members until Preston, Carl, Jack and Hayes' apprentice Jimmy are rescued by Bruce Baxter and Captain Englehorn. Jack decides to continue searching for Ann while Carl decides to capture Kong.
Meanwhile, upon hearing Ann screaming in the distance and sensing she is in danger, Kong ran to her aid just as a female Vastatosaurus rex was about to devour Ann. Kong swung down and kicked the matriarch in the face before grabbing her neck to keep her from getting to Darrow. Just then, a juvenile V-rex wandered out of the jungle swallowing the remains of a Foetodon that chased Ann earlier before seeing Darrow relatively unguarded in the ape's free hand. It ran toward her, and Kong moved her out of the way to allow the beast to bite down on his forearm before using the grip to throw it off balance. The two then closed in for the kill on Kong, from the top of which a much larger male V-rex attacked Kong from behind. The four beasts wrestled for a bit before Kong crushed the younger V-rex's skull with a boulder, killing it before the matriarch bit Kong's bicep. Kong used this as leverage to flip her over his shoulder and off a cliff. He kicked her over the edge and sank his teeth into the neck of the male before tackling it into a crevice.
Kong tried to hold on to the edge, but the matriarch's powerful jaws grabbed his ankle and dragged Kong down, where the animals became entangled in vines. As Kong fought against the female while higher up, the male tried to maneuver itself to devour Ann, but Kong pummeled the beast and repeatedly bashed its head against a canyon wall until its neck snapped while Ann fell on top of the matriarch's head. They both fell to the valley floor and the female tried to chase Ann down, but Kong dropped down right behind her and confronted the creature. After a moment of snarling and sizing each other up, the matriarch charged at Kong, who grabbed the dinosaur by the jaws and bit off her tongue before wrestling the female to the ground and climbing on her back. She tried to stand up, but Kong's weight was too great, and he wrestled the female to the ground, pummeling her head until he pries her jaws apart, snapping them and crushing her skull in the process. After making sure that he had killed the female by playing with her jaws, Kong celebrated with a roar of victory.
In the aftermath, Kong began to walk away, but Ann called to him and began following. Kong then flipped her up onto his shoulder and resumed the trek to his lair in the mountains of Skull Island. Moving past the skeletal corpses of deceased Megaprimatus Kongs, Kong set Ann down at the summit and sat on his perch overlooking the sunset looking rather depressed. Ann tried to amuse him with her juggling tricks, but with no effect. Upon noticing the beauty of the sunset, Ann tried to convey the feeling to Kong with a simple sign of a hand over her heart, but Kong couldn't understand what she was saying to him. He then layed down his hand and allowed her to fall asleep.
In the night, Jack, who had made his way to Kong's lair, arrived to rescue Ann. Before he could get her out of the ape's hand, Kong suddenly awakened. Realizing that Jack was trying to take Ann away from him and believing him to be an intruder who wandered into his territory, Kong attempted to smash the man with his fist, but accidentally disturbs a swarm of bat-like Terapusmordax, who began to attack him. With Kong distracted as he slapped and tore at the beasts while they continue to attack him, Jack and Ann are able to escape down the cliffside on a vine. Kong soon discovered Ann missing and found them. As he began reeling the two back in, Jack grabbed a Terapusmordax and dropped into the river below. With a bellow of sorrow, Kong left his lair and gave pursuit. Kong, not knowing he was headed into a trap set up by Denham and his crew, chased Ann and Jack all the way back to the village, where he slammed on the gargantuan gate to try to get to Ann, who had passed to the other side.
When he finally broke through the gate, Kong was brought to the ground with grappling hooks before a bottle of chloroform gas was broken under his face, and a net was dropped on him. Still wanting to get to Ann upon observing the sailors taking her away, this gave him a second wind as he was able to break free and run after her and the sailors to the shore via a tunnel. By the time Kong caught up while fighting and killing several sailors, Jimmy shot at him, causing Kong to strike the boat and destroy it. However, after seeing this, Englehorn fired a harpoon at Kong that struck him in the thigh, making him slow down. Carl then struck Kong by throwing another chloroform bottle in his face, which finally brought him down and severely weakening him. Kong reached his hand out to Ann in a last attempt to grab her, but fails as he eventually loses consciousness. As Denham stood over Kong's unconscious body, he vowed he would bring Kong home as "The Eighth Wonder of the World".
Kong was taken back to New York on board the Venture, and was placed in chrome steel chains and put on display inside the Alhambra theater on Broadway. He sat sorrowfully in his chains as Denham displayed his purported docility, and allowed the men to tighten his restraints, raising Kong's arms to two poles in the process. Kong then sat as a show imitating the native sacrifices to him was put on at his feet and a blonde woman was offered to the ape. Not being able to see her face, Kong grew hopeful and strained to see his loved one again, only to find another actress playing her role, causing Kong to bellow in a fit of rage and anger. However, as photographers shot pictures from offstage, Kong began to get violent and strain his restraints with his flailing. Roaring in anger, Kong broke his right hand free and picked up the fake Darrow and admired her before throwing her into the crowd. He then got his left hand out and leapt out of his leg chains before starting to wreck the theater. When most other people were gone, Kong turns his attention to Jack standing on the second floor balcony. Remembering Jack as the one who took Ann away from him earlier, Kong began to try to climb up to chase him, bringing the second floor seating down due to his immense weight and size.
After breaking out over the theater marquee, Kong began frantically picking up blonde women that resemble Ann and throwing them aside when they aren't even her. Bewildered and confused by his new surroundings, Kong began to destroy Times Square, at one point attacking a trolley that rammed into him. Kong only stopped attacking when he suddenly catches sight of Jack driving in a taxi and resumed his attempt to kill him. Kong chased Jack through the streets and was eventually able to slam his fist on the cab, disabling it. Before Kong can kill Jack, he suddenly calms down upon sensing Ann's presence and looked over to see her slowly approaching him. She placed her hand on his huge forearm and he gently picked her up, allowing Ann to stroke his face. Kong then slowly carried her down the deserted streets onto a frozen lake in Central Park. There, he lost his footing on the ice before enjoying himself by sliding around on its slippery surface. Sadly, this break of tension would not last, as the army began to fire upon him with heavy artillery. Kong frantically took Ann and began to run to safety before coming across the Empire State Building, believing it to a safe place so that nobody can even bother him. He then began to climb the building and sat the base of the mooring mast, holding Ann in one hand as the sun began to rise. To signify that he found it beautiful, Kong patted his hand on his chest repeatedly, mimicking Ann's movement from his lair. Their peace was then interrupted yet again by six biplanes.
Kong put Ann down and snarled at them before climbing to the top of the tower and sweeping the radio antennae out of his way as the planes return for another pass. While the planes began shooting at Kong, Ann is determined to try and save him by climbing up a ladder to try and help. Bullets tore through his flesh as Kong swiped at the passing aircraft, successfully managing to destroy one of them that flew too close to him. Eventually, Ann's screaming showed Kong that she was dangling from the ladder that had gotten loose miles above the ground. He tried to grab her before she fell for a moment, giving Kong the opportunity to let go of his handhold so that he can catch Ann. After climbing back up and giving her a saddened look as he placed her on the observation deck to keep Ann safe, a plane began to shoot at Kong again and he tried to draw its fire, managing to grab a plane and throw it off course into another, causing them both to crash. Ann then climbed up after Kong and stood in front of him as his wounds are starting to get to him, trying to ward off the planes, momentarily causing the fighter pilots to call off the attack upon noticing her which appear to have worked. With the threat temporary gone, the wounded Kong then took Ann in his hand as he began to lose his footing. Setting set her down, the two shared a peaceful moment with Ann lovingly placing her hand on Kong's face.
Unfortunately, that moment was then shattered by the sounds of gunfire as bullets tore through Kong's back, causing him to slump against the building since Ann was no longer in the line of sight. Kong and Ann had a brief and sad moment as Kong used the last of his strength to touch her tear soaked face before finally succumbing to his heavy injuries. Ann could only watch as Kong's bullet-riddled corpse slid from the tower, plummeting to the streets below. As Jack reaches the top of the building and comforts Ann, civilians, policemen and soldiers gather around Kong's giant corpse in the street, with a reporter commenting the airplanes killed him in the end. Carl makes his way through the crowd, takes one last look at Kong and says, "It wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast" as more civilians begin to swarm around Kong's body. With Kong dead, this now brings the extinction of Megaprimatus Kong.
Kong is a 25 foot tall ape who closely resembles a real-life mountain gorilla with dark skin and thick, ragged black hair with some patches of grey fur that covers his entire body, except for his face, ears, hands and feet. Unlike his previous incarnations, he only walks on fours like a normal gorilla instead of walking upright in an anthropomorphic manner. Kong displays a misaligned broken jaw, leaves stuck in his hair along with dry crusted blood caked to it and scars all over his body (his most distinguishing feature is a crescent shaped gash near his right eye which seems to have a collapsed eye socket), confirming that he has been through battles with the island's fauna during his time on Skull Island. Like all gorillas, Kong is equipped with large sharp teeth, except his lower left one appears to be broken while a snaggletooth sometimes protrudes from his mouth even when he closes it.
Compared to his rather possessive and vicious original iteration (as possessive as an animal can go), this version of Kong's overall behavior is pretty much understandable; Kong was visibly affected by loneliness from being the last of his kind and poor treatment by natives of Skull Island, thus the lack of meaningful social interaction with other sentient beings reduced him into a feral beast with communication skills that left much to be desired. Up until the encounter with Ann Darrow, he prone to be too rough with fragile potential new companions (sacrifices the natives offered to him) that the giant ape killed every single one of them by mistake. It was when Ann Darrow stood up against him and subsequent mishap with three Vastatosaurus Rexes that Kong's communication skills improved and started to mellow out, but even he remained violent toward other members of her kind, particularly Driscoll whom he thought seeking to take his sole companion away. As such, the endeavor to curb his worst tendencies and help him becoming more civilized, though difficult, still in the realm of possibility as with ordinary gorillas.
Powers and Abilities
- Megaprimatus Kong Physiology: Kong is a Megaprimatus Kong, an extinct prehistoric species of 25-foot tall gorilla inhabiting Skull Island, possessing the same abilities attributed to real-life gorillas, demonstrating feats of strength, speed, agility, durability, endurance, senses and intelligence. However, as the sole survivor of his race, he has several physical attributes that surpasses that of ordinary gorillas and other members of his deceased species.
- Enhanced Strength: Due to his abnormally large size and body mass, Kong possesses tremendous immense physical strength, capable of fighting against Skull Island's menacing creatures such as Vastatosaurus rex and able to move, lift or throw immensely heavy materials, such as fallen trees or boulders. Some impressive feats of Kong include picking up and throwing a log the Venture crew is trying to cross into a pit with ease as well as smashing through the gate to the native village. Even in New York City, he was strong enough to break free from chrome steel chains which were thought to be unbreakable while being put on display, toss aside automobiles like toys and destroy three of the biplanes attacking him on the Empire State Building before his death. Kong shows that he is also strong enough to pry and snap apart the powerful jaws of a Vastatosaurus rex, whose bite-force is supposedly comparable to its extinct cousin Tyrannosaurus rex.
- Enhanced Durability: Kong demonstrates an incredible degree of durability, capable of withstanding bites from three Vastatosaurus rexes during his fight against the three theropods while protecting Ann and also able to resist small-arms fire from the Venture crew, which seemingly serves only to anger him. However, Kong is not really invincible as he can still be injured and killed by modern human weaponry, shown when he got shot in the leg with a harpoon by Captain Englehorn and later ended up being wounded and shot by machine guns mounted on biplanes during his last stand against them on the Empire State Building, though he was still able to withstand a hail of bullets long enough to destroy three of the planes attacking him before his death.
- Enhanced Dexterity: Like all apes, Kong has five fully opposable digits on each of his hands and feet, allowing him to grab objects and opponents firmly with ease. These also provide advantages in climbing.
- Enhanced Mobility: Kong is extremely fast for a creature of his size and possesses tremendous agility, capable of effortlessly scaling sheer cliffs, mountain faces and even buildings such as the Empire State Building in New York City, leaping from greater distances and also swinging to cross gaps. He can even dodge attacks from three Vastatosaurus rexes as well as bullets from machine guns mounted on biplanes during his last stand atop the Empire State Building, despite getting shot and succumbing to his injuries. At one point, Kong is shown to walk and run on all fours like ordinary gorillas do instead of walking upright.
- Enhanced Stamina: Kong demonstrates an unlimited amount of stamina and resilience, allowing him to remain active without tiring. This allows him to battle against three Vastatosaurus rexes without needing to stop or rest, travel all the way to his lair, chase Jack Driscoll in a taxi through the streets of New York, climb up the Empire State Building from night to well into the morning and fight against the biplanes, even while being shot and killed by the machine guns mounted on them. Should Kong expend all his stamina, he only momentarily requires rest or food to restore it.
- Enhanced Endurance: Kong possessed feats of endurance, taking continuous, dangerous assaults from Skull Island's most fearsome creatures as well as modern human weaponry, yet still he is able to continue fighting. He even becomes able to take more and more punishment and fight for longer periods of time without growing exhausted from daily activities.
- Enhanced Senses: Kong's senses are more acute than ordinary gorillas, which makes him aware of his surroundings and to sense danger when it's near. He was able to hear the Skull Islanders' tribal music as well as Ann's screams a mile away and track her down when she is attacked by three Vastatosaurus rexes. Even after chasing Jack through New York and smashing his taxi, Kong was also able to detect the presence of Ann nearby and stopped immediately before turning around and reuniting with her.
- High Intelligence/Expert Tactician: Kong has demonstrated himself to be intelligent comparable to ordinary gorillas, if not greater, even with his attitude problems that made him a threat to mankind, except Ann. He is familiar with how to use objects/tools like trees, vehicles or boulders as weapons, able to take advantage of his surroundings in many situations such as combat, and read attack patterns of foes in order to anticipate their movements. Kong is capable of not only complex reasoning and emotion, but even rudimentary communication with humans, demonstrated through his conveying an understanding of beauty, and being able to communicate this to Ann with a mutually understood gesture. Kong's increased awareness and craftiness grant him an edge over the more violent and deadly Vastatosaurus rex which he battles. Despite being intelligent, his inability to understand that Ann was not in danger with the humans ultimately lead to his capture and death atop the Empire State Building.
- Expert Combatant: Despite being animalistic, Kong is a powerful and skilled fighter as well as a lethal combatant, shown when he was able to go toe-to-toe with three Vastatosaurus rexes while protecting Ann at the same time, despite the three dinosaurs being much bigger, ferocious and stronger than him.
- Sharp Teeth: Like ordinary gorillas, Kong possessed remarkably sharp teeth which he could use to bite and tear, able to pierce the scaly skin of a Vastatosaurus rex and even capable of ripping off the tongue of another. At one point, he is briefly shown biting off the head of a member of the Venture crew on his way to get to Ann. Considering he is a herbivore like an ordinary gorilla since he is not really carnivorous, Kong sticks to a mainly vegetarian diet as he is able to eat plant matter and even bamboo.
- Climbing Skills: Kong is a skilled climber like ordinary gorillas, capable of climbing to surfaces in order to scale them with relative ease, which helped by his size and remarkable grip of both his hands and feet. He is also shown to be able to climb buildings in New York City, most notably the Empire State Building.
- Survival Skills: As the sole survivor of his kind, Kong has remarkable survival skills, having spent majorities of his life surviving and taming the wilderness on Skull Island, learning where to find food or water as well as overcoming dangerous situations.
- Only at only 25 feet in height, this is the shortest incarnation of King Kong while all the others are at least 50 feet tall.
- Like all gorillas, this version of King Kong is a herbivore as he was shown eating bamboo because Andy Serkis was very adamant that Kong should not be carnivorous since a gorilla's usual diet in real life is more than likely consisted of vegetation and fruits.
- The sound effects of Kong in the film are made from not only Andy Serkis that are lowered in pitch to match that of real gorillas, but from the vocalizations of big cats (such as lions, tigers and leopards), bears, elephants, horses and walruses.
- During the scene where Kong causes the crew to fall into the log pit, both he and Lumpy are seen together. Both characters are portrayed by Andy Serkis, though Kong in this scene is CGI.
- Kong has only 41 minutes of screen time.
- The way Kong shakes Ann around in the film while carrying her probably would snap her neck or spine.
- During the opening scenes of the film, there are shots of monkeys, a few chimpanzees, and an orangutan. The Empire State Building can also be seen in the background at the start of the montage of the Great Depression. The monkeys and apes foreshadow Kong who is a giant gorilla, and the Empire State Building in the background foreshadows the climax as Kong famously climbed it. The song "Sitting on Top of the World" may also foreshadow the climax, as the ESB was the tallest building in the world at that time.
- To an extent, the primates at the start of the film may also foreshadow the reboot trilogy of Planet of the Apes, which starred Andy Serkis (who played Kong) as Caesar, another ape portrayed in motion capture. Thus, the first film of the POTA reboot trilogy is released six years later in 2011, followed by the sequels in 2014 and 2017.
- Kong kills forty-one people throughout the film, one more than in the 1933 version.
- Kong makes his first visual appearance 71 minutes into the film.
- Although it is the title of the movie, Kong is not heard until 1 hour into the film, and he does not make his first appearance until 1 hour and 10 minutes into the film.
- Because of the film's length, fans have joked that Kong didn't die from the airplanes, but died of old age.