I’ve always been amazed at how viewers find Kong, the 50-foot gorilla star of the 1933 classic “King Kong” to be a sympathetic character. Considering the number of humans that he chews on, stomps into the mud and pounds to a pulp with his massive fists, I find him a curious object of sympathy. Let’s face it, Kong is one mean ape–and if all that can be said in his defense is that he had a soft spot for Ann Darrow, I have to say that’s just not enough. Heck in 1933 all sorts of folks had a soft spot for the gorgeous Fay Wray who played Miss Darrow.
If you’re going to feel sorry for Kong, then why not feel sorry for the revived Beast from 20,000 Fathoms–doesn’t he swoon and die with operatic grandeur amid the flaming ruins of a Coney Island roller coaster? And what about Gojira–or, as we know him, Godzilla, King of the Monsters? Is he any less sympathetic for being a very large lizard rather than a very large ape?
It seems to me that Kong kills a little too wantonly to be much of an object of pity. I’d rather for sorry for that faux-Fay Wray who Kong plucks from her bed, sniffs at, then tosses several hundred feet to the pavement below. Not only does King kill, he glories in it with a ritualistic pounding on his chest. A 50-foot gorilla with an attitude in the middle of Manhattan is never going to end well. I say Hooray for the Air Corps! The big ape should have known that he was batting out of his league.