The original “Dolphin Tale” was a surprise hit with critics and audiences, but somehow, I’m not sure how it was enough to justify a sequel.
Nevertheless, here it is, “Dolphin Tale 2,” and while it suffers from repeat syndrome, it manages to charm its way through.
First-movie stars Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr. are back, helping rescue another dolphin and make it another exhibit at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium right alongside the beloved dolphin Winter with the prosthetic tale. This new one is called Hope, and she’s exactly what the characters are looking for in order to snap Winter out of depression.
Like this year’s “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” “Dolphin Tale 2” is much more interested in revisiting what made the first movie so great rather than adding anything new.
However, it does offer some beautiful underwater cinematography sequences and, most of the time, it never feels cheesy or phony, despite some use of computer-generated images.
Freeman, Judd, Connick and the rest of the actors actually are given material that they can do something with instead of just standing around. I can say the same for this series. It’s sentimentalized without being sensationalized (The movie is once again “inspired by true events”).
It’s also clever and entertaining without becoming silly or ludicrous or having to rely on ridiculous plot developments.
The movie is mostly mild, safe and predictable and probably will be considered a missed opportunity except for those who loved the first one. Nevertheless, it does hit the sweet spot just right.
(Rated PG for mild thematic elements.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.