Not long ago Universal Studios gave up on their iconic King Kong ride. You know the one, where they had a giant, almost lifesize robot King Kong smashing up a city while elated vacationers rode past him on a train. It was such an iconic ride that it, itself, actually ended up in a few movies. But it was ravaged by fire and so Universal, rather than rebuilding, took it down, promising to replace it with a new King Kong ride which would be even bigger, better, and more immersive.
Well now it’s ready, and this may be the most depressing thing I’ve ever seen.
It’s called “King Kong 360 3-D” and they hired Peter Jackson to make it a reality. On paper that seems like a good idea. On Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson proved to everyone that the best way to build convincing special effects was through a melding of traditional, practical effects with modern CGI. You’d think he’d have brought that aesthetic to the ride, but instead what he’s done is tear everything down, force everyone to wear 3D glasses, and send them through a tunnel of lame screens.
In the first video embedded below you’ll see Peter taking a tour through the new ride, which is no longer cool at all and amounts to a bunch of people paying amusement park prices to watch a movie. Then you’ll see him talk about it, claiming that the 3D makes the whole thing more immersive than ever. Hey Peter, you know what would really be immersive? If someone actually built a fucking lifesize King Kong monkey and we let people see that instead. Nah that’s too crazy, nobody could ever build something like that. Instead let’s do this boring shit:
How do you know it’s boring? Even the people riding it seem kind of bored. Probably because they’ve, you know, seen 3D movies before. Only you don’t pay $50 dollars to gain entry to M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. Watch park goers attempt to seem like they’re enjoying themselves:
Now compare what those bored looking faces are watching to this, the original ride:
King Kong 360 3-D is now open at Universal Studios. Unfortunately the original King Kong ride now resides somewhere in a landfill. Hooray for 3D!