Who would think one could feel compassion for a 25 foot, 8,000 pound beast running amok in New York City? As in most action movies, whenever any foreign object or creature attacks and destroys any U.S.-based city, we cheer for the forces that are trying to stop it.

However in “King Kong,” I found myself wishing the enormous gorilla would destroy the city and find his way back to his stomping grounds.

“King Kong” originally came out in 1933, and then was remade during the 1970s. Now nearly 30 years later, yet another updated version has hit theatres with a very detailed storyline staying true to its original roots.

The film starts off by taking us back into the gritty, Depression-filled era of 1930s New York City, where families are living in poverty, children are working and theatres are closing left and right. Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) is a simple Vaudeville actress working in a theatre that reaches its demise after a few shows. Jobless and with little chance to gain steady employment, Ann eagerly takes a role in a film made by Carl Denham (Jack Black), a self-serving and crafty director in search of new talent for a to-be-written script.

Denham’s questionable film leads a packed cast and crew out to sea in search of the infamous Skull Island, a land that, according to legend, harbors a huge creature among savage natives.

After a turbulent boat ride, the weary group quickly discovers the ominous Skull Island, complete with less-than-accommodating natives. An attack commences on the guests to the island and, like the original, Ann is captured and offered up as a sacrifice to the monster only known as “Kong.”

As she is taken away by the oversized gorilla, Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody), playwright and love interest to Ann, launches a rescue mission deep into the foreboding jungle, where they eventually come into contact with dinosaurs, giant insects and leeches.

Rescuers eventually find Ann deep in the jungle and capture both her and Kong and back to the city they go, where Denham begins to showcase what he calls “The eighth wonder of the world.”

A pale comparison to what he once was before, Kong sits melancholy in front of a crowd, before a reenactment of what happened on the island sets him off in a rage, thus allowing him to break through his chains and wreak havoc on the city, all in search of Ann. They reunite for a brief moment, only to be broken up by an army of men who chase him to the top of the Empire State building, where the inevitable occurs and closes out the movie.

“King Kong” is an amazing film. Its action sequences have to be the highlight of the movie, with such standout scenes containing dinosaur fights and chases, while the natives on the island go above and beyond feral, with clouded eyes and menacing demeanors.

The main focus as everyone knows, however, is the relationship between Ann and Kong. At first she is naturally terrified of the beast, but is soon comfortable enough with him to conjure up compassion when he is captured and taken to the city. One of the best scenes of the film revolve around her and Kong on a frozen lake in the city, which, for a moment, made me forget that he was a giant gorilla.

Jack Black plays the conniving Carl Denham with an animated enthusiasm that only he could bring to the role. He is reunited with his “Orange County” co-star Colin Hanks in this movie, who plays his straight-arrow assistant, Preston. Naomi Watts plays the wide-eyed Ann in the movie with a true believability and channels the personality of a 1930s actress well.

Overall, “King Kong” is an exceptional movie that runs just a little more than three hours, although after the first 45 minutes of character buildup, leads with action sequences that will pass the time quickly.