There's not really a lot to say about King Kong which hasn't been said already. Fay Wray is great as the damsel in distress, although there is far too much screaming. Filming black and white is inspired, but there's a fine line between "retro" and "bad" - the film is crackly and of poor quality, and the stop-motion animation on Kong and the dinosaurs is unconvincing at best...
Heh. Just kidding.
The 2005 remake of King Kong is about as faithful as one could reasonably expect it to be. In fact, it's so faithful that it preserves all the massive plot holes from the original like "How did they get him onto the boat?" and "Why didn't he splatter when he fell?".
Unfortunately, this is not a good thing for the movie.
Because it's one thing to go into an action movie knowing pretty much for certain that the good guy is going to kill the bad guy and get the girl. That's just guessing. It's quite another to be watching a movie and to know with absolute certainty what's happening next. Because I knew what had to happen, there was absolutely no tension in any of the action sequences. At all. Sure, they were well-scripted, well-animated, and the biplane sequence was impressively vertiginous, but sheer historical necessity drained any entertainment value from them. I was just sitting through the movie, waiting for it to end, not actually watching it.
I can't fault Peter Jackson on his interpretation of the story. There was nothing more he could have done. He had a top cast and directed faultlessly. It's just the sheer note-for-note remake factor which killed this movie for me, and there was no way he could have avoided it. That's the beginning and the end of why it had to underwhelm.
That and the fact that it was at least half an hour longer than it needed to be.
Three out of five.