The more I think about that snaggle tooth sticking out of the mouth of Peter Jackson’s big ape, the more uncomfortable I feel. (Go to “photos” on the official website.) It’s a hint, you see…a very slight indication of the emotional tone of Jackson’s King Kong. That tooth doesn’t exactly say “cute,” but it’s obviously a kind of message from Jackson to his fans that says, “Cut this guy some slack…I mean, he can’t go to a dentist, can he? Consider the vulnerability.” The tooth, in other words, is about intimacy and warmth. I’ve been saying it all along, but this movie is going to be trouble. I could be dead wrong and I hope I am. Jackson’s Kong may reanimate or infuse fresh energy into that occasionally spooky and haunted vibe that Merian C. Cooper created in his original 1933 Kong, but I seriously doubt it. I smell a valentine. This isn’t going to be about a ferocious chest-pounding ape and a blonde he’s fallen for, but about a movie myth digitalized into some textural intrigue here and there (I love the snow on the streets of New York during Kong’s rampage there) but mostly a slicked-up and essentially sentimental Peter Jackson theme ride. If it were going to be about something truly primal and fearsome, that tooth wouldn’t be popping out like that. I’m sorry but it’s really that simple. This movie is going to be about Jackson chaperoning the relationship between his ape and the audience in the same way Alfred Hitchcock was always a presence in his films, always sitting next to us and at the same time “playing” us like an organ. The all-new Kong is not going to consider what it might be like to be covered in the stench of an ape’s breath — it’s going to be about distance and aesthetics and all the money and massive power that Jackson has acquired from his success with the Rings, and the indulgence this has afforded him.