Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dolphin Tale 2

Releases September 12th, 2014
1 hr 47 mins
Rated PG
Drama, Family


Director: Charles Martin Smith


Harry Connick, Jr. as Dr. Clay Haskett
Ashley Judd as Lorraine Nelson
Nathan Gamble as Sawyer Nelson
Kris Kristofferson as Reed Haskett
Cozi Zuehlsdorff as Hazel Haskett
Morgan Freeman as Dr. Cameron McCarthy
Denisea Wilson as Julia
Julia Jordan as Mandy
Austin Stowell as Kyle Connellan
Juliana Harkavy as Rebecca
Austin Highsmith as Phoebe
Lee Karlinsky as Troy
Julia Winter as Peyton
Winter as herself
Hope as herself
Bethany Hamilton as herself

Review by Stephen M.

I have never seen the first Dolphin Tale film which is based on the true story of a dolphin named Winter who was rescued and required a prosthetic tail.  From everyone that I spoke to that watched the first film, they thoroughly enjoyed it.  The sequel, Dolphin Tale 2 is an entertaining and heart warming family film that will make you laugh while educating you at the same time.

Most of the original cast returns with Nathan Gamble as Sawyer Nelson, and Cozi Zuehlsdorff as Hazel Haskett a bit older and taller naturally.  The two gets most of the screen time aside from Dolphins, Winter and Hope.  While I like both actors, one thing I didn't like was the way the filmmaker teases the viewers of a possible romance between Sawyer and Hazel with no results.  It's great in adding a special dynamic and makes for some fun scenarios such as Hazel being jealous of the gawking intern in awe of Sawyer and his reputation from saving Winter.  Aside from Harry Connick, Jr. as Dr. Clay Haskett and Ashley Judd as Lorraine Nelson, most of the other adults play minimal roles including Morgan Freeman and the odd guest cameo of pro surfer Bethany Hamilton as herself.

The strengths in the film lies in its interesting story and characters that is able to keep your attention despite being close to two hours long.  For younger children, the film is a bit long as evident by my agitated daughter during the latter part of the film.  The antics of a particular pelican (actually played by two pelicans) are some of the funniest parts of the movie.  While the pairing between Winter and Hope will have you at the edge of your seat.  The inclusion of real footage of the events that inspired the film at the end of the movie as they did with the first film is a great added element to getting a snapshot into the daily lives of a marine rescue and aquarium.

Overall, I would recommend the film.  With the inclusion of my Editor as one of the dolphins in the film, it's quite fortunate that they at least set her free and she's doing well in the Gulf of Mexico.  As I had mentioned earlier, I would have love to see the film tighten more and the spark between Sawyer and Hazel explored more or left out completely.  I would have also loved to get more insight to certain aspects of the dolphin care.  For example, why are female dolphins only paired with other females and not males?  

What did you think of the film?


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