Dolphin Tale 2 Makes More Bellyflop than Splash

Drawn by Ellie Yoo

Drawn by Ellie Yoo

Rachel Seo, Photojournalist

Dolphin Tale 2, the highly anticipated sequel to 2011’s Dolphin Tale, hit theaters on Friday, September twelfth. Although it wowed the targeted audience with its sweet family-friendliness, it did not fulfill some movie critics’ expectations for a strong story.

The film is a continuation of the true story of Winter, a dolphin with a prosthetic tail. Heartwarming and innocent, the first Dolphin Tale charmed adults and children alike, creating a feel-good story filled with hope and inspiration.

Unfortunately, Dolphin Tale 2 did not work wonders for me like the first did. While the cinematography was crisp and the acting commendable–two bright spots include the performances of sixteen-year-old actors Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff–the plot is weak, with melodrama and predictability peppered throughout the story. Although the real-life footage that rolls at the ending credits asserts that Dolphin Tale 2 is, indeed, a true story, the warm fuzzies that swarmed in my stomach after the satisfying resolution were accompanied by uncomfortable pangs that insisted the story seemed just a little bit too good to be true. Perhaps raising the stakes would give this movie more lift–other than three or four threats by an inspector and the aquarium’s funder, there is no true point to the drama.

On the other hand, the plot itself ascends into the realms of crystal-clear innocence and provides a great break from the sexual innuendos that other “childrens’” movies have so smoothly incorporated. Although a little spark floats between Sawyer Nelson (Gamble) and Hazel Haskett (Zuehlsdorff), the bond between the two is a wonderful portrayal of a young friendship that later–maybe later–can turn into something more. And the touching little balloon scene at the end left a pleasant taste in my mouth as well.

Though it has a clean plotline, is not offensive, and charms its audience, Dolphin Tale 2’s flimsy story makes it a vaguely forgettable movie.