Friends had given me the impression that this movie would seem too long, and possibly even a disappointment after Peter Jackson's previous masterpieces (LoTR, Heavenly Creatures, Braindead...). But I didn't find that at all.
Granted, we did watch King Kong over two evenings (this happens when sleep becomes more important than anything else) so that may have made a difference. But it didn't seem to me that any part of the film was over-long, boring or unnecessary. Even the dinosaur sequences were highly enjoyable, including the infamous enormous gorilla vs vicious dinosaurs fight scenes.
The inhabitants of Skull Island were impressively savage; they would have been utterly suitable as the Reavers in Serenity.
In the end, it really was Kong's eyes that made the movie, because without their expressiveness we wouldn't be able to relate to him as we did. As I said to the boy, what makes King Kong a better film than Jurassic Park is that it is so much more...human.
It's a little like Raiders of the Lost Ark in its Fifties tradition and danger-at-every-turn pace. It's a little like Gorillas in the Mist because you can't help but be on the side of the gorilla. It's a little like E.T. because all you really, really want is for him to be able to go home again.
So actually, it was a way better movie than I'd expected.