Mighty Joe Young (1998) Movie Review Summary

Actors: Bill Paxton, Charlize Theron, Rade Serbedzija

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Mighty Joe Young (1998)

A huge gorilla and his handler move from Africa to California while being pursued by a poacher who wants revenge. Jill is the sole caretaker of Joe, a huge gorilla she's known since childhood. Their mothers were killed by a poacher Strasser in an attack, wherein baby Joe was able to bite off two of the poacher's fingers. Now adults, Jill and Joe live comfortably in Africa but are always under the threat of curious hunters. Gregg, an animal conservationist from America arrives, and invites them to live in a sanctuary in California for their safety and to upgrade the profile of the facility. Jill agrees. Strasser sees the news on TV and wants to capture the gorilla. At the California habitat, Jill and Joe are welcomed with open arms. The wildlife society is extremely excited with the new addition and is preparing a launch party. At the event, Strasser and his men sabotage the party, causing Joe to panic and go wild. The society now perceives him as a threat, and decides that he needs to be put down since he is now unstable. Strasser asks Jill to transfer him to his African facility, which of course doesn't exist, and Jill seeing she has no choice, says yes, still not recognizing Strasser as the man from her past. When they break Joe out of the facility, Jill sees Strasser's concealed hand and puts it together. She fights Strasser, and Joe at the back of the truck, escapes. Joe runs wild in the streets of L.A., and heads to the Santa Monica Pier. Gregg catches up to Jill and they head to the pier, so does Strasser. Strasser and Jill confront each other, but Joe intervenes, and flings Strasser into electric wires, killing him. In the commotion, a fire starts, and a boy is trapped on top of a ferris wheel. Joe climbs up and saves him, but the structure topples down, pinning Joe. Joe survives. In Africa, a new preserve is built from contributions from those inspired by Joe's story. Jill and Joe return to their home, safe and happier.
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Best part of story, including ending: I like Jill and Joe's relationship, they are like brother and sister and it comes off naturally in the film.

Best scene in story: I like when Joe gets a little jealous of Gregg, who is flirting with Jill, and he tries to thwart Gregg's advances.

Opinion about the main character: Jill will protect Joe at all costs because he is all she's got and she made a promise to her mother.

The review of this Movie prepared by Tina Medina a Level 30 Banded Kingfisher scholar

Script Analysis of Mighty Joe Young (1998)

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Animal or Object Story    -   Yes Kind of animal or object:    -   monkey

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


Africa    -   Yes Kind of Africa:    -   Black Africa City?    -   Yes City:    -   Los Angeles

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing

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