Picks and Pans Review: King Kong Lives

updated 01/26/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/26/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

King Kong has been a lot of things. Never, however, has he been such a big bore. The story picks up where the 1976 remake ended. Kong has survived that nasty fall off the World Trade Center in New York, though he needs an artificial heart implant. The surgeon is Linda Hamilton, who knows from big apes, having co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. She installs what looks like a monster food processor in Kong's chest, and it is soon going pitter-patter over Lady Kong, a giant female gorilla discovered in Borneo by Brian (Murphy's Romance) Kerwin. While Hamilton and Kerwin get to know each other, the Kongs stomp around the countryside on a honeymoon that includes snapping people in half. Special-effects master Carlo Rambaldi had two 45-foot Kong models on hand, but a lot of the footage was shot using live actors in gorilla suits. The actors costumed as the Kongs are so ungorilla-like that the merely hokey becomes cartoonish. Sequel purposes are served, however. A son of Kong is born and he too seems likely to lead a life of reluctant destruction unless someone can get him a scholarship to Ohio Stateā€”or teach him to type so he can review movies. (PG-13)

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