What You Need To Know:
(AB, PC, NA, LL, V, M) Anti-biblical, politically-correct, manipulative relativism -- children know best, adults & authority figures are ignorant, right & wrong depend on feelings, & strong one-world, animals-equal-to-humanity message; 7 obscenities, 3 exclamatory profanities & 1 vulgarity; mild action violence -- car rolls down a hill, protagonists flee from authorities, gorilla falls into ocean; and, theft, lying & rampant disobedience portrayed favorably, along with fleeing to Canada to avoid capture, just as draft dodgers once did (the movie's own analogy, in which draft-dodging portrayed as "right thing to do"), dog urinates on detective, & gorilla is flatulent.
A troubled teenager with a bad attitude is headed for nowhere until he makes friends with a caged member of the wild kingdom … FREE WILLY? No, but close. BORN TO BE WILD stars a female gorilla, along with Wil Horneff as the rebellious teen who outsmarts all the adults, saves the intelligent primate from her money-hungry owner and sets her free in Hawaii. At one point, the movie lays it on thick, expecting the audience to believe that a gorilla could not only communicate with a sign language expert, but also could effectively defend herself and her friend against legal charges in a court of law. (None of this is meant to be humorous.) This strongly manipulative, one-world, all-creatures-are-humanity message spoils this otherwise clean adventure drama.
The movie’s minor premise is that no one is better off facing life alone. However, the movie’s main premise is illustrated through the “mistreatment of animals” issue, which is a weak crutch for its heavy-handed “animals-are-people-too” message. There is even a healthy dose of relativism thrown in during a suspense-less court sequence in which right and wrong are effectively blurred by a primate whose “feelings” prove to be wiser than the legal profession. A quote from the end of the movie sums up the twisted message: “We are sibling species. We differ in degree only, not in kind.”