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Film Review: ‘Dolphin Tale 2’ is Fantastic Family Entertainment

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – They don’t come along often, the rare fun-for-the-whole-family film. But “Dolphin Tale 2” fits that description perfectly, throws in some idealistic symbolism, and more importantly follows those symbols through to the end.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Yes, this is “inspired by a true story,” yet it’s not too far off from the real circumstances – it’s simply a hyper-realized version of the story. The dolphin named Winter, as we learned from the first film, was found in a net with its tail cut off. The Marine Biology institute nursed it back to health, and created a prosthetic appendage – much like a artificial limb for humans – so Winter could frolic anew. “Dolphin Tale 2” is a continuation of this inspiration, and writer/director Charles Martin Smith imbues the story with symbols of transition, for both the dolphins and human beings. This follows through to a glorious conclusion, uplifting and amazingly probable. That kind of truth works “for the whole family.”

The story begins a couple years after the first film. The dolphin named Winter is working nicely with an artificial tail, which was fashioned by a marine doctor named Cameron McCarthy (Morgan Freeman). The Marine Biology institute is still run by Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.) and facilitated by his mid-teenage daughter Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff). The teenage discoverer of Winter, Sawyer (Nathan Gamble), works at the facility as a leadership intern, and is now well versed in Dolphin-ology.

Everything changes when Winter’s dolphin companion passes away, and she is left without a partner. The search for a new dolphin is complicated by the federal government, whose rules specifically state that Winter must be paired, or face transfer. Sawyer, in the meantime, is given the opportunity to leave home to study advance Marine Biology. There is tremendous pressure on all, until a baby dolphin washes up on shore, and is given the appropriate name of Hope.

“Dolphin Tale 2” opens everywhere on September 12th. Featuring Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, Charles Martin Smith and Kris Kristofferson. Written and directed by Charles Martin Smith. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Dolphin Tale 2”

Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Nathan Gamble
Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) and Sawyer (Nathan Gamble) of ‘Dolphin Tale 2’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Dolphin Tale 2”

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