kingkong.jpgMatt Drudge has taken it upon himself to dredge up just enough pullquotes to be able to call  King Kong's racist subtext into question. (He also does his own "research": "Indeed, a GOOGLE search using the words "King Kong racism" yielded 490,000 hits.") He quotes Newsday's Jim Pinkerton, Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post, and Slate's David Edelstein – all of whom call into question the new Kong's implicit racism as an artifact of its legacy. It's one thing, they all seem to say, that the 1933 film played on the idea of an African captive wreaking havoc on his kidnapper's soil; it's another that the story keeps getting told over and over again, with less and less readiness to take responsibility for its structuring metaphor. "Why does the film keep getting remade?," Pinkerton wonders. "What does it say about us if the new Kong is a huge hit?"

Very little, at least when it comes to racism – Jackson has moved the story's concerns far away from any latent black-man-as-monster paradigm. Which isn't to say there's nothing disturbing here. Kong himself has become such an icon – so, for lack of a better word, assimilated into our culture – that making him a full-on menace wouldn't work. So Jackson spins it the other way, and, in one long, drippy, moony shot-reaction shot after another, instead tells the story of a smart, beautiful blonde and a giant gorilla, falling in mutual, aggression-free love. "I don't see how the sexual sub-text or the love story can go much further," David Thomson writes in the Independent. "We are not ready - are we? - for a movie in which Ms. Darrow contrives to give the ape a tasteful blow-job."  The fundamental question of King Kong has always been, "Why doesn't he eat her?"; Jackson dispenses with that problem early to concentrate of the pair's logistic condundrum: where are these two crazy lovebirds ever going to find an apartment in New York City big enough for the both of them?