Mighty Joe Young

"Survival is an instinct."

Mighty Joe Young is a remake of the 1949 film of the same name. It stars Bill Paxon and Charlize Theron. The film opens with Jill Young, played by Charlize, and her mother working to protect gorillas from the threat of poachers. Young Jill develops a friendship with a baby gorilla named Joe who lives at the sanctuary with his mother. Poachers attack the sanctuary. They kill the mothers of Jill and Joe. However, the lead poacher, Andrei, loses his right thumb and forefinger to little Joe during the attack. Before her death, Jill’s mother makes Jill promise to care for Joe.

Time passes, and Jill has grown to adulthood, and little Joe has grown to an abnormally large size. While living at the sanctuary, Jill meets Gregg, played by Bill Paxon. Gregg is amazed by Joe’s intelligence and size. He convinces Jill to move Joe to the United States for Joe’s safety. They move to Los Angeles and begin a new life. Everyone loves Joe, and he is featured on television. The poacher, Andrei, who lost his fingers to baby Joe is operating an illegal animal preserve. He sees Joe on television and plots revenge. He meets Jill prior to a party. It has been years, and she fails to recognize him. During the event, Andrei’s thugs approach Joe’s enclosure and arouse him with noise makers used by poachers. Joe recognizes the noise and becomes angry. He escapes his enclosure and tears apart the event in an effort to destroy the bad guys. Jill and Gregg are bewildered by the aggressive behavior. Joe is secured in a stronger enclosure.

Jill learns Joe may be killed for his stunt at the event and sneaks him out of his enclosure and gives him to Andrei and his goon. Through circumstance, she recognizes Andrei and tries to rescue Joe, who is being transported in a truck. She falls from the truck. Joe sees this, upsets the truck and escapes. He follows lights to a carnival. Andrei and his goon follow Joe to the carnival. Greg and Jill anticipate Joe's move, and they go to the carnival as well. Andrei’s goon knocks the gun from Andrei’s hand when he tries to shoot Jill. The misfired bullet starts a fire. The fire causes a Ferris wheel to break, trapping a little boy at the top. Andrei is killed by Joe when he tries to shoot Jill a second time. Joe then climbs atop the Ferris wheel to rescue the little boy. They both fall. The kid is safe, and Joe is temporarily knocked out by the fall. He then awakens and is ultimately shipped to Africa and is left to run free in the safety of his own preserve.

PG
| 1998 | 1 hr 54 min | 5.6/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Ron Underwood
Language
English
Mighty Joe Young
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