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MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (REMAKE)

title: MIGHTY JOE YOUNG
year: 1998
cast: Charlize Theron, Bill Paxton, Naveen Andrews, David Paymer
rating: ***

The problem with humanizing the titular ape isn't that it makes the movie sappy. Well it does but that's not the problem. The same thing occurred in Peter Jackson's remake of KING KONG: that if you take a creature, and make him too realistic, you lose some of the dynamic. If Mighty Joe Young, or Kong for that matter, are really just gorillas who happen to be larger than normal, it takes away the monster-driven bedlam that made both original films, each produced, directed and written by the same folks, so classic. This, as a remake, isn't that bad, and the special effects are above average: it's difficult to tell what's CGI or otherwise. Bill Paxton makes for a decent accidental hero, and Charlize Theron fills Terry Moore's shoes decently enough. But there needed more old school mindless action and less weepy backstory.
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