Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bad Idea or Brilliant Idea?

Years ago, when the possibility of an Aliens vs. Predator movie was first floated, I had a discussion with a friend of mine about what such a movie should be. His take was, I thought, very interesting, and the more I thought about it the more I came to feel that he was completely right. His opinion was that a movie that had as its central conflict war between Aliens and Predators would only be muddied up by the presence of humans. Why have them in there at all? His pitch was for a human being- and dialogue-free film in which the story of a group of Predators finding a nest of Aliens and the ensuing war between the two groups would be told entirely through action. The film would be almost experimental, an attempt to see if a compelling, exciting action story could be told through the action only--kind of like a very violent, gory, and CGI-riddled ballet.

I was reminded of this after seeing King Kong. A few sequences in the film work like this really - especially the Kong vs. the dinosaurs scene, which develops the plot in a very concrete way, tells a mini-story in its own right, and does through with zero dialogue and purely through an epic fight scene. And it got me to thinking. Hollywood is notorious for greenlighting sequels to anything successful (although their restraint in not foisting upon us Titanic Two is to be commended). Now, King Kong is not proving to be quite as successful as hoped, but we'll still be talking, when all is said and done, easily north of half a billion dollars in worldwide box office. Nothing to sneeze at.

So - King Kong 2? Well, sure the ape is dead at the end of the film, but a prequel story about how Kong came to be the only giant gorilla left on Skull Island, a story with no humans at all, but an all-star cast of dinosaurs, insects, giant apes, and other assorted and sundry beasts, well, that's a story I think could work. And I think Jackson is just the director to try such a bold experiment - to create almost a pure action film, with no dialogue, no humans, but with a compelling story and characters all delivered through the kind of action he nailed so well in Kong.

Brilliant or bad?

Until Whenever

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