Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) — 2011’s Dolphin Tale was a surprisingly engaging and inspiring film, based on a true story, which was great for the whole family. It was also a hit, which for Hollywood means, “Let’s get that dolphin back in the water and make a sequel.”
Dolphin Tale 2 is “inspired” by actual events, once again involving Winter, the dolphin with the prosthetic tail. Returning as Winter’s best human buds are Sawyer (Nathan Gamble), the marine biology prodigy, and Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff), the daughter of marine biologist/pet vet Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.). Winter’s no longer just a symbol of hope: he’s also big business, helping to turn Dr. Haskett’s marine life rescue facility into a thriving aquarium.
But then Winter’s elderly aquarium mate dies, and the feds threaten to take Winter from the aquarium because it’s against regulations for a dolphin to be held in captivity without a companion dolphin. If they lose Winter, they will probably lose the aquarium. The dramatic tension — or lack thereof — is supposed to come from whether or not Winter will bond with a new, young dolphin named Hope.
None of this will engage adults, even if they do manage to stay awake during a movie that seems much longer than its 1:47 runtime. However, small children will probably enjoy the dolphins, and a pelican that shows up strictly for comic relief but is rarely funny (to adults). The best lines in this movie are delivered by Morgan Freeman, who once again plays Dr. Cameron McCarthy, the man who invented Winter’s prosthetic tail, and even that bit of dialogue is just a little too precious to feel organic.
If it hadn’t been for the success of the first movie, Dolphin Tale 2 would likely have been one of those straight-to-DVD kids’ movies.
One out of five stars.
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