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Mighty Joe Young



by Vivian Rose, age 14, Arkansas

"Mighty Joe Young" is your typical cutesy animal movie - except for the fact that the cutesy animal in question happens to be a huge, abnormally large, ferocious looking gorilla. Still, that doesn't really mask the format - it remains a dopey animal flick. (Although I'm an animal lover, I just couldn't warm to "Mighty Joe Young" - the ape or the movie.)

In "Mighty Joe Young", a gigantic ape named Joe is introduced to Los Angeles, when his owner, Jill Young (Charlize Theron) and Gregg O'Hara, (Bill Paxton) a well-meaning zoologist, have brought him to live on a wildlife preserve. Previously, Jill and Joe had lived on top of a secluded mountain in Africa, where they'd had few visitors. Jill only agreed to leave Africa in order to protect Joe from their big, bad enemies - poachers. As the movie progresses, Joe is eventually running wild in Los Angeles.

"Mighty Joe Young" is too unbelievable, too silly, and way too predictable. The premise of a gigantic ape running loose in New York City was too far-fetched. And, I could give you a list long enough to fill this entire web site of things that would be done differently - if such an incident did occur.

Young children - ten and under - might enjoy this movie, but its premise, plot, and even its special effects are much to weak to interest anyone else. (Joe didn't even look remotely real to me. I think they should have filmed a real gorilla, and employed camera tricks to make him appear larger than life.)

One more thing: "Mighty Joe Young" stomping around, destroying vehicles and property, and causing utter chaos and confusion was entirely too reminiscent of "Godzilla", for my taste.

Rating : PG (for some menacing action violence and mild language)