- Directors: Peter Jackson
- Producers: Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson
- Writers: Screenplay, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Story, Merian C Cooper, Edgar Wallace
- Genres: Adventure, Romance
- Actors: Andy Serkis, Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody
The film opens in New York City, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression. Having lost her job as a vaudeville actress, Ann Darrow is hired by troubled filmmaker Carl Denham to be an actress in his new motion picture against the famous and popular actor Bruce Baxter. With time running out, Ann signs on when she learns her favorite playwright Jack Driscoll is the screenwriter. As the SS Venture sails across the ocean, they slowly fall in love. As for Carl, a warrant is out for his arrest and Captain Englehorn begins to have second thoughts, following the fears of his crew over the legend of Skull Island. Despite his attempt to turn around, the ship is sucked up into fog and crashes into one of the encircling rocks.
Carl and his crew explore a seemingly deserted village against a wall. As they explore, Carl spots a native girl and offers her chocolate but she attacks, and Carl and the crew realize the village isn’t deserted. Then, a member of Carl’s film crew gets impaled by a spear, Ann notices and screams, a roar beyond the wall responds and the crew are attacked by the natives. The matriarch vows to sacrifice Ann to “Kong”. Just as Carl is about to be killed, Englehorn and the sailors break up the attack and return to the damaged ship. They finally lighten the load on the ship to sail away, until Jack discovers Ann has been kidnapped. On the island in a sacrificing ceremony, Ann is tied to a wooden drawbridge by the natives and lowered to the other side of the wall across a moat-like ditch in the ground. The crew arrived armed, and started killing all the natives. But are too late as Kong appears to claim Ann, and glares back at Carl, and then disappears with Ann into the jungle as Carl watches from the opposite side of the wall. A rescue party is organized, and Captain Englehorn gives them 24 hours to find her. In the meantime as Kong holding Ann moves quickly through the jungle and shakes her around, Ann discovers the remains of the previous sacrifices, and stabs Kong’s hand with her ceremonial necklace, much to Kong’s surprise. Hearing the rescue party approaching, Kong grabs Ann as she tries to run from him and takes her deeper into the jungle.
Kong eventually stops Jack’s taxi, knocking Jack unconscious, he then sees Ann down the street, which calms him down before he can kill Jack. They share a quiet moment on a frozen lake in Central Park then are interrupted by the military. Kong heads to the Empire State Building and climbs to the top. While observing the dawning day, Kong repeats the sign for “beautiful” Ann had used in his lair, causing a shocked Ann to realize his intelligence. Before Ann is able to attempt further communication, they are again attacked by the military. Kong makes his last stand against the Curtiss Helldivers, on the summit of the observation spire, downing three of them. Ultimately, Kong is hit by several bursts of gunfire from the surviving planes, and gazes at a distraught Ann for the last time before falling off the building to his death. Jack finally reaches Ann and comforts her. In the aftermath, hundreds of people and reporters run to Kong’s lifeless body and look in amazement. A man tells Carl that the airplanes got him. But Carl says, “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.”