Mighty Joe Young (1998)

"Good"

Mighty Joe Young (1998) Review


I'm beginning to get fed up. Over my four years as a critic, the thing which has kept me going is the moderate balance of films. The good balances the bad. I try to see both in equal proportions. But Disney's Mighty Joe Young remake marks the fourth week in which I haven't seen a truly terrible movie.

It's a backwards machismo, I suppose, the urge to see the things which you so loathe; but I need to see a bad film every once in a while. And, you know what, Mighty Joe Young doesn't qualify.

Far from being bad, Mighty Joe Young is actually a family fun movie. It's enjoyable, appropriate, cute, cuddly, and all of those other things that I've been seeing in every movie since A Bug's Life.

Mighty Joe Young tracks a 2,000 pound gorilla in the wilds of Africa that is taken to a reserve in ... California? ... for safe-keeping. Okay. A little unrealistic, but who ever said a kid's movie had to have the slightest hint of realism. The first half of the movie is a Gorillas in the Mist-esque hatred of poachers woman-of-the-wild motif. The second half is a straight up parody of King Kong, awestruck onlookers and all.

Mark one down. I'm feeling relaxed. It is, as a point of fact, an extremely un-creative movie. But, as a vetern, I can say quite honestly that creativity doesn't count for as much as it should. So that saves Mighty Joe from my wrath, although my colleagues and cohorts and surely bashing this film at this very moment.

This is not the film to take a girl on a date to. It's not the film for you. It's the film for you and your family. When you're right alongside your kid, all of the normal rights and wrongs slip away. The same thing happens when you watch a horror movie or an action flick. It becomes fun. All you have to do to enjoy Mighty Joe Young is shut up and watch.



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