Mighty Joe Young

Theatrical Release: December 22, 1998
DVD Release: March 23, 1999
Mighty Joe Young


In this update of the classic “Mighty Joe Young,” zoologist Gregg O’Hara (BILL PAXTON) is exploring the remote Pangani Mountains in Central Africa when he comes upon an incredible discovery – an astonishing 15-foot gorilla. Fearsome and dangerous when provoked, he is tame in the hands of Jill (CHARLIZE THERON), the 21-year-old orphan who raised the gorilla and named him Joe. When poachers threaten Joe’s life, Gregg and Jill rescue Joe by moving him to a California animal preserve. However, Joe is not safe for long. His newfound notoriety makes him a target for an enemy from his past – a ruthless poacher who is eager to steal Joe away for his unique value in the endangered species black market. Feeling threatened and confused in his man-made confines, Joe finally escapes from captivity. With only Los Angeles and its terrified residents in his way, this powerful force of nature attempts to traverse a modern metropolis, leaving a trail of destruction and chaos in his wake. Jill and Gregg race to save Joe’s life before he is destroyed by the encircling authorities, and the chase culminates in an incredible and selfless display of courage by the mighty Joe, proving that within his fearsome frame beats a noble and heroic heart.

Dove Review

This is a nice remake of a classic film and Charlize Theron and Bill Paxton are excellent in their roles in the film as Theron plays Jill, a girl who cares for the giant ape Joe, and Paxton plays Dr. O’Hara, a zoologist who supports Jill in her efforts. The special effects are great and Joe moves seamlessly among the other characters.

The plot moves along well but we must note that there are several scenes of violence in the film. However, this is fantasy violence, based on a giant ape, and there is very little blood. Because of this factor, we approve the film for ages twelve and above, and we award this interesting movie, which has a lot of action, our Dove Seal.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: Kissing.
Language: H-3; D-1; OMG/G-6; Cr*p-1
Violence: Several characters with guns; a man tried to shoot woman and he knocks out a man with his rifle; a woman is killed by bad guy; a man's thumb and finger is bitten off; tranquilizers given to animals and a man is accidentally shot with one; jeep is hit by Joe; Joe throws a basket at men; Joe is chained; man is thrown against tree limb and knocked out; Joe is mentally tortured by man with key chain; man fires gun foolishly near town; man's hand is injured; several auto accidents; a fire at a carnival.
Drugs: Drinking.
Nudity: Cleavage.
Other: A man wants revenge but it doesn't turn out as he hopes.


Company: Buena Vista Home Video
Writer: Merian C. Cooper and Ruth Rose and Mark Rosenthal and Lawrence Konner
Director: Ron Underwood
Producer: Tom Jacobson
Genre: Adventure
Runtime: 114 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter