Mighty Joe Young

This Disney eco-flick about a huge gorilla may be as predictable as rain in a rainforest, but it's an enjoyable caper none the less. Mighty Joe is a freak of nature who lives in the fastness of Central Africa watched over by jungle girl Jill (Theron). Having both lost their mothers to poachers - during the film's only truly harrowing scene - the pair have become inseparable. Along stumbles zoologist Gregg (Paxton) who comes within inches of extinction following a surprise encounter with the fearsome but ultimately kind-hearted beast. Word spreads of Gregg's discovery, and before long the poachers are back. Jill and Gregg ship Joe to the deceptive safety of a Californian animal reserve and, eventually, to a cliff-hanging climax. Despite its longueurs, this is a welcome revamp of a genre that includes King Kong, ET and virtually every movie that pits misplaced creatures against evil humans. Most impressive, though, are the special effects.

Release details

Duration: 114 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ron Underwood
Screenwriter: Mark Rosenthal, Lawrence Konner
Cast: Bill Paxton
Charlize Theron
Peter Firth
Rade Serbedzija
Regina King
Naveen Andrews
David Paymer
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