5.6/10
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Mighty Joe Young (1998)

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ON DISC
A legendary fifteen-foot tall mountain gorilla named Joe is taken to an animal sanctuary in California by a zoologist and a young woman whom he grew up with. A poacher from the past returns to seek vengeance on him.

Director:

Ron Underwood

Writers:

Merian C. Cooper (story), Ruth Rose (earlier screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlize Theron ... Jill Young
Bill Paxton ... Gregg O'Hara
Rade Serbedzija ... Strasser
Peter Firth ... Garth
David Paymer ... Harry Ruben
Regina King ... Cecily Banks
Robert Wisdom ... Kweli
Naveen Andrews ... Pindi
Lawrence Pressman ... Dr. Baker
Linda Purl ... Dr. Ruth Young
Mika Boorem ... Young Jill Young
Geoffrey Blake ... Vern
Christian Clemenson ... Jack
Cory Buck Cory Buck ... Jason
Liz Georges Liz Georges ... Jason's Mother
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Storyline

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 among people who live there. Along comes an eco-minded emissary from a California sanctuary, who talks the jungle girl into providing safe haven for Joe at the L.A. 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 <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Survival is an instinct.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some menacing action violence and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Swahili

Release Date:

25 December 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Store Joe Young See more »

Filming Locations:

Hawaii, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,602,042, 27 December 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$50,632,037
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bill Paxton was 20 years older than Charlize Theron when the movie was shot. She was only 23. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jill Young: [Gregg is holding out his hand to shake on their deal that Jill is in charge of Joe if they go with him to L.A] That's not how we make deals around here. You have to get bitten by a Mahooky Spider, you'll get a fever and delusions. You'll start to say things. Then if you're intensions prove true... we trust you.
Greg O'Hara: [pausing] If I get bit and prove true, you'll come with me?
Jill Young: Yep. What do you think?
Greg O'Hara: [staring at her] I think that's the biggest load of crap I've ever heard.
Jill Young: [smiles] maybe you're not such ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »


Soundtracks

Calliope Music
Written and Performed by Richard Gibbs
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Endearing movie, way better than expected
12 February 2001 | by quin1974See all my reviews

King Kong must be one of the greatest animals ever to grace to silver screen, he sure is the biggest primate to do this. But there is a good runner up: Joe. Once before filmed in 1956 also as `Mighty Joe Young', this story of a gorilla with a defect in his genes which causes him to grow out of proportions into a 2000 lbs primate, is a great one.

The story begins with little Jill Young and her mother as they are in the jungle observing a group of gorilla's. Little Jill instantly bonds with Little Joe, a baby gorilla. At night the group of gorilla's is attacked by poachers and Jill and her mother go out there to the jungle to protect them. To no avail, because in the end both Jill's and Joe's mother are killed. Twelve years later Jill (Theron) is still with Joe and Joe has grown into this enormous gorilla weighing over 2000 lbs. Paxton comes to the jungle to investigate a myth of a giant primate protecting the area of the mountain where Joe lives. Joe and Paxton meet, poachers come to hunt him down and Paxton and Jill decide to take Joe to a preserve in California so he can have a more quiet life. But danger is not gone, even in California old enemies come to hunt him down, and Joe ultimately has to undertake a very brave action...

This is the outline of a very well crafted piece of cinema, family entertainment at its best. The script is very well written, the characters are likable and convincing. You have the hero and the heroine, the villain and luckily the moronic sidekicks have been left at home this time. Joe is a lovely character, although a lot of him has been done with CGI, he is still very convincing. A lot of work has gone into creating the right facial expressions to give him a human touch. The story unfolds at rollercoaster speed, never lets off steam and constantly plunges the audiences into new surprises and endearing situations.

Ron Underwood did a great job at recreating this story on screen. The performances are way above average, even Theron is good for once. Paxton is his Paxton self. The art direction is fine as well. The sets are well designed, if somewhat "Disney" at times. The special effects were awesome and state-of-the-art. Although some of the scenes could be recognized as being CGI, this was not very bothersome, there have been worse attempts at this genre.

A lovely picture for the family, if maybe not for the smallest of the family, some of the scenes can be quite frightening for some. One must be a very big cynical grown-up not be moved by the final scenes at the fairground.

9/10


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