After the very upsetting No Good Dead, I needed a feel good movie to help me feel clean again. What could be more wholesome than a relationship between a kid and their dolphin, right?
Fun fact, dolphins are extremely sexually aggressive. Just Google “Dolphin Rape” if you doubt me.
Dolphin Tale 2 continues the story of Winter, the dolphin whose rescue made national news, thanks to a groundbreaking prosthetic made to fix her damaged tail. The film reunites all the cast from the first movie, including Harry Connick, Jr., Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Austin Stowell and Winter.
This is a movie with its heart in the right place. It shoots for inspiring, but doesn’t quite make it as far as it did in the original. Themakes the movie too hard to swallow. If you’re like me, at some point you’ll ask “why are all these PhDs taking orders from children?”
The movie is inspired by true events, but I’m pretty sure these kids are entirely fictional. The children’s characters have the feel of Disney kids. Disney kids are the kids Disney gives us in their movies because that’s what old white dudes think children are actually like.
Some of it was nice, including the whole story of Winter inspiring children who’d lost limbs. The surfer who lost her arm, Bethany Hamilton, makes a cameo appearance. It’s easy to see why the dolphin is an inspiration and it’s easy to see why children will be drawn to it. When the movie focused on the inspiration to other amputees, it shined.
Surprisingly, the most human of all the characters is the dolphin. Winter is suffering from depression following the death of her adoptive mother Panama. So the people get together to find Winter a friend. It’s a sweet, simple storyline.
The sweetness might start to wear thin after a while. In fact, I’m sure if you watched both movies right in a row, you would get diabetes. It’s mild entertainment that tries really hard to give an uplifting message. In some places, it succeeds. In others, it gets tiresome.
And naming the baby dolphin ‘Hope’ was way too on the nose for me. I actually gagged, right there in the theater.
This movie is Hollywood candy floss. Like cotton candy, it’s good for a bit, but if you shovel too much down, you wind up burping sugar bubbles for two days afterwards. This is a movie that kids will love and parents will tolerate. It’s not exactly Schindler’s List, but it is a nice break from some of the rougher offerings at the box office right now.
Worst case scenario, you could always just let the dulcet tones of Morgan Freeman lure you into a gentle sleep as your kids watch the movie. It’s not high art, but it will entertain the kids and you won’t have to risk getting sexually violated to see a dolphin.
WE GAVE IT: 3 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!