I think my mixed feelings about this Dino DeLaurentis remake of the original KING KONG movie has to do with the lack of giant dinosaurs on Skull Island. After all, that's one of the coolest things--a giant ape battling other giant monsters. Instead, we get a brief battle with a giant python. Whoop de doo.
This aside, I do like this version of King Kong. Instead of a movie being made on the island, it's investigated by an oil company called Petrox. An anthropologist, Jack Prescott (Jeff Bridges) has stowed away, because he believes there may be rare animals there. The crew has also picked up survivor Dwan (Jessica Lange), who is a would-be actress. Instead of Carl Denham we have an asshole named Fred Wilson (Charles Wilson), who gets his well-deserved comeuppance after he captures Kong and brings him to New York City. Although King Kong is a guy in a suit, it's a great ape costume and it's able to convey enough emotion.
There's a brutal, bloody ending of Kong at the end, with Kong scaling the top of the Twin Towers because it reminds him of the mountains at home. He's torched with flame throwers and is then machine-gunned by helicopters. Also, bummer of an ending for Jack and Dwan, as it's clear they'll never be together as a couple.
But is Kong really dead? No. He's kept alive with a giant artificial heart by Linda Hamilton in KING KONG LIVES (1986)!