When it comes to making wise decisions, characters in a movie have a huge disadvantage: they don't know they're in a movie. The good guys wouldn't have been surprised by Darth Vader winning if they'd known from the outset they were in a movie called "The Empire Strikes Back."
But even then, you can't watch certain movies without realizing that these guys really should have seen it coming. Like...
"Don't worry, Mr. Denham, we'll get you on your way in a jiffy. Let's just have a look at that shipping manifest. Let's see... 12,000-pounds of bananas... 250-pounds of animal tranquilizers... 300-pounds of raging gorilla... What's that you say? Oh, yes, it looks like you're right. Thirty thousand pounds of gorilla. My mistake. Well, everything seems to be in order. Sign here."
Why They Had It Coming:
We understand that Denham was supposed to be eccentric and ambitious to the point of insanity. But he didn't sneak Kong back into the U.S. by hiding him in his suitcase. A whole lot of people apparently signed off on the deal.
Do you know why they don't let you just take tropical monkeys home with you whenever you feel like it? It's because that would be a REALLY FUCKING BAD IDEA. And we're talking regular-sized monkeys here. Seriously, go on vacation and try passing through customs with a screeching live monkey clinging to your back.
Sure, the guys in the customs office in 1933 New York weren't dealing with the same restrictions we have today, but a little bit of basic common sense should have told them that a motherfucking three-story ape is not an acceptable import. Really, taking any kind of giant monster through customs shouldn't be this easy, or even possible.
He was royalty, though.
But not in the King Kong universe. Just stop and think about all the people who had to go along with his plan to display a giant, rampaging monkey in front of a Broadway audience. The trucking company should have refused to transport anything that could conceivably beat one of their trucks in a fist fight. The police should have stopped him for transporting unsafe materials. The theater owner should have taken one look at Denham's plan, a plan to stuff hundreds of people into a room with a giant gorilla and then wait for something interesting to happen, and he should have told the man to go directly to Hell and take his monkey with him.
This is apparently a world where not only did dinosaurs not go extinct, but somehow lawyers and insurance companies did.