Mighty Joe Young

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Director: Ron Underwood
Writers: Mark Rosenthal and Lawrence Konner
Buena Vista; PG; 114 minutes
Cast: Charlize Theron, Bill Paxton, Rade Serbedzija, Peter Firth, David Paymer and Regina King

Walt Disney meets King Kong and everybody over age 10 loses. Sweet Jill Young (Theron) has devoted her life to the caretaking of orphan Joe, whose mother was killed by poachers. Decades pass. Hunky wildlife conservationist Gregg O'Hara (Paxton) seeks out the massive primate and convinces Jill that the safest place for Joe is Los Angeles. That's right, Los Angeles. The murderous poacher (Serbedzija), whose two fingers were nibbled off by the infant Joe, heads to California to exact revenge. In true Disney style, only the bad people get hurt. And the two-ton simian is a lovable, warmhearted chum who, after some initial complications — clambering up the Hollywood sign, assimilates quite successfully into contemporary American culture, evading law officers on the L.A. freeway like many a Los Angelino before him. But beware the injurious potential of a stale-cheese dialogue and a goofball premise.

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