A legendary fifteen-foot tall mountain gorilla named Joe is taken to an animal sanctuary in California by zoologist Gregg O'Hara (Bill Paxton) and Jill Young (Charlize Theron), with whom he grew up. Poacher Strasser (Rade Serbedzija) returns from the past to seek vengeance on Joe.
The baby gorilla left in her care grows up to become a hugely tall and broad specimen by the name of Joe, living in the mountains as a mostly unseen legend amongst the people who live there. Along comes eco-minded emissary Gregg O'Hara (Bill Paxton), who is from a California sanctuary, and who talks jungle girl Jill Young (Charlize Theron) into providing a safe haven for Joe at the Los Angeles facility. The transition is not without discomfort, but everything is aggravated via a conspiracy of poachers to get Joe into their own greedy hands.Written by
Anthony Pereyra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This movie was originally intended for a summer 1998 release before being pushed out to the 1998 Christmas season. See more »
When Jill is talking to the doctor at the market, watching Gregg, she picks up a piece of fruit to eat. As she puts it to her mouth it appears untouched. In the immediate cutaway scene, the fruit is half eaten. See more »
[after Strasser tried to shoot Jill]
You're not a hunter. You're a murderer! And I don't want any part of this!
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German video and DVD versions are edited for violence (capturing of the gorilla, transport of the gorilla in the city, escape of the gorilla, explosion of the ferris wheel) to get a more family friendly "Not under 6" rating. The uncut version (rated "Not under 12") was shown several times on pay-TV channel Premiere World (now Sky Germany). See more »
I wasn't sure whether I would like Mighty Joe Young. I did see it once with my family beforehand and didn't think much of it. When I did decide to give it a chance again, I am glad I did. I wasn't expecting a perfect family movie, and while this movie is very dark, it also manages to be quite sweet too. I will admit that the beginning is very dark and intense even for a family movie. I will also admit that the plot is very formulaic and that the villains are rather cartoony.
What made this movie though for me was Joe. He was designed superbly and acted very convincingly. Even for an ape, I found him quite adorable, after seeing films like Congo where they scared me so much. Other pluses are the superb special effects and the splendid scenery. Not to mention the lovely music score. The acting was a mixed bag; Charlize Theron was gorgeous as Jill, and Bill Paxton was very good as Gregg. The supporting actors ranged from good to so-so. The relationship between Joe and Jill was very very convincing and sweet, well to me it was. And I know the ending was more King Kong with a happy ending, but I will confess I cried. Maybe it was because I loved Joe so much, I have a habit of empathising with characters that I grow to love.
Overall, it is a decent family movie. It mayn't appeal to you first time, but if given the chance as it did with me, it may grow on you. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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