Mighty Joe Young

Beauty brings down the beast again in this remake of the 1949 girl and her monkey movie. Stunning Jill Young (Charlize Theron), the daughter of a Dian Fossey-like primatologist (Linda Purl), has dedicated her life to protecting "Joe," a mutant gorilla she and her mother first discovered as a playful youngster. Vicious poachers (Rade Sherbedgia, Peter Firth)...read more

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Beauty brings down the beast again in this remake of the 1949 girl and her monkey movie. Stunning Jill Young (Charlize Theron), the daughter of a Dian Fossey-like primatologist (Linda Purl), has dedicated her life to protecting "Joe," a mutant gorilla

she and her mother first discovered as a playful youngster. Vicious poachers (Rade Sherbedgia, Peter Firth) orphan Joe and Jill on the same terrible night; her mother's dying request is that Jill protect the ape. Joe soon grows to be 15 feet tall, possessed of an unusual intelligence and utterly

devoted to Jill, who keeps him hidden on a mountain that grows less remote -- and therefore less safe -- with each passing year. Afraid of what the future holds for her simian charge, Jill succumbs to the blandishments of Gregg O'Hara (Bill Paxton), who hunts rare animals for a California nature

conservancy. But Joe doesn't adjust well to his new home, in part because those same poachers have come to American looking for revenge. This is technology-driven spectacle: It's too shallow to really work for adults, but so slow and relentlessly serious that kids are bound to get restless. Joe

himself is an amazing creation, less personable, to be sure, than the original lovelorn King Kong, but a far more fully realized character than any of the flesh and blood humans by whom he's surrounded. Jill is innocent and brave, Gregg is brave and hot-headed, and the poachers are bad, bad, bad

(though one eventually proves slightly less bad than the other). Joe's Los Angeles rampage is more elaborate than the one at the end of THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK (and nicer as well -- Joe doesn't eat any doggies), but the sight of Joe pounding his chest atop Graumann's Chinese Theater is

somehow lacking in mythic resonance.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Beauty brings down the beast again in this remake of the 1949 girl and her monkey movie. Stunning Jill Young (Charlize Theron), the daughter of a Dian Fossey-like primatologist (Linda Purl), has dedicated her life to protecting "Joe," a mutant gorilla she… (more)

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