Dolphin Tale 2 – Movie Review
Director: Charles Martin Smith
Writers:Charles Martin Smith, Karen Janszen (characters)
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, Harry Connick Jr., Kris Kristofferson
This is the story of a dolphin named Winter, and for those who saw Dolphin Tale this should come as no surprise. Winter is a dolphin that lost its tail in a crab trap. It was fitted with a prosthetic tail to allow it to swim in a normal fashion. She lives in captivity in the Clearwater Marine Hospital. In Dolphin Tail 2, Winter’s surrogate mother dies due to old age, and the marine hospital faces the prospect of losing Winter due to a regulation that states she must be paired with another dolphin.
This is a surprisingly straight forward film that aims to teach kids some elements of marine biology and show how cute dolphins are! There is never any real doubt that Winter will be moved away from the Hospital, which reduces any element of tension to near negligible levels. We also get to meet a number of the other inhabitants of the Hospital, such as turtles and a feisty pelican, who is the main source of humour in the film. There are various kids that work in the hospital, including the owner’s daughter and a boy who has a rather intense relationship with Winter. These two kids have their own vague romance of longing, which is thankfully kept at a platonic level!
There is a strong cast with Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson and Morgan Freeman but the subject matter is so frothy they are largely wasted . The story is saccharine sweet and you do find yourself wishing for an evil businessman trying to close the Hospital down or one of the usual plots. The various participants all act with the best wishes of the dolphins at heart and they never feel anything other than cardboard. Having said that, the underwater photography of the fish, reptiles and dolphins is handled with skill and it does try to educate children, which is a positive. It is a sweet and gentle tale that will keep the nippers quiet for a few hours.
Note – Probably suited for kids over 5.