Friday, July 8, 2016

Favorite Scene Friday! King Kong: Kong vs. the Dinosaurs

All month long we'll be looking at fight scenes for FSF! So tune in every Friday for some brawling.

When Robert told me this month we were celebrating our favourite fight scenes in film, I took my usual tactic of trying to work out how I could crowbar in a Jurassic Park scene somewhere. Other than a brief but pivotal climactic showdown, the first JP movie is largely devoid of small-scale confrontations, as is The Lost World, and if you think I'm even going to consider the T-Rex vs Spinosaurus debacle from JP3 then clearly you don't know my feelings on that travesty. Jurassic World has the awesome fight at the end, but still it didn't feel quite worthy of this list, so I sought for some dino-on-something carnage elsewhere, and I think I struck giant furry gold with Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of King Kong.
Sanjulian via

WI think I'd consider this my favourite "long" (read: more than 3 hours) films, with Titanic, Magnolia and The Green Mile following closely behind in an undetermined order, and it's one I deeply regret not seeing in the cinemas, being released at a time where films didn't seem all that important to me. Now I see it as the visually astounding if a little drawn out action-adventure-romance spectacle that it is.

In the scene in question, Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) has been brought to the mysterious Skull Island to shoot on location for a new film, but she has been kidnapped by the giant ape Kong (motion-captured by Andy Serkis), who took a liking to her ability to scream louder and more shrilly than anyone has ever screamed before. Now, Ann has attempted to escape Kong's capture, only to run into a giant Vastatosaurus Rex, or V-Rex for short, but fortunately Kong is on hand to save her. The trouble is, there's more than one V-Rex around:

I love this scene, in fact I love pretty much the whole movie, but this scene has always been one of the stand-outs for me. The action is so kinetic yet fluid, and the choreography makes great use of the environment and the specific movement abilities of the combatants. Kong uses all four limbs and his jaws to his best advantage, all the while having to keep Ann safe from the monstrous beasts, who in turn attack the great ape with everything they have. I've never been a wrestling fan but this fight reminds me a great deal of wrestling matches, particularly with Kong throwing the dinosaurs around and body-slamming into them. Kong's opening gambit is awesome too, swinging round to deliver the first V-Rex a massive kick to the face, then landing, catching Ann as she falls from a ledge, and sailing her just out of reach of the attacker's snapping jaws; it's almost balletic.

I enjoy the entrances of the other two dinosaurs as well, each adding something to the overall scene. As Kong fends off the first guy he keeps Ann well out of its reach, only for her to spot number two approaching from the distance (slurping up the remains of his last meal seen in a previous scene), thus adding even more tension as she must somehow alert Kong of this newcomer's presence before it eats her. Then, once Kong has marginally subdued both attackers and retreats in a near stalemate position, number three attacks from behind, instigating round two of the whole bloody affair. The clip above ends with all involved falling into a mesh of vines, which in itself leads to a tremendous scene with one dinosaur swinging trying to get Ann whilst Kong dangles with another V-Rex below, but unfortunately I couldn't find a clip of that. Instead there is this clip of what happens when Kong is left one-on-one, Kongo e Dino, with his last opponent:

This is where it gets a bit brutal, but damn if Kong's finishing move isn't effective. Plus, and this is something I missed the first few times I watched it, but Kong rips out the V-Rex's tongue with his own damn teeth. That is badass.

What's your favorite scene giant monster fight?


  1. Fantastic stuff. It's a great mix of absurd and gritty. It's funny that these giant-monsters-fighting scenes from a movie over a decade old are just as good as, if not better than, anything we've gotten in more recent stuff like Pacific Rim or the newer Godzilla. It definitely gets brutal at the end there. "You're not gonna need this anymore." *bites out tongue*

    If the new Skull Island movie and the supposed Godzilla v Kong (still not quite sure how that's gonna work) have stuff as good as this, I'll be happy.

  2. I can't see how Godzilla v Kong is going to work either, especially if they keep them the same size as in the most recent movies. Godzilla's problem would just be finding something as small as Kong and carefully squashing him underfoot.