Top critical review
Should have been better
on January 20, 2012
Sawyer (Nathan Gamble), a depressed and withdrawn 11-year old, helps rescue a dolphin who washed ashore after being injured in a crab trap. The dolphin is nursed back to health at a marine animal rescue hospital, but an infection results in the loss of her tail. Without a tail, she swims awkwardly, which could permanently damage her spine. Can she be saved in time?
Well, of course she can, as this family-friendly PG movie is based on a true story. (The part of the tailless dolphin is played by the real-life, "Winter." This is a wholesome movie with many stars, but I think the writer went overboard creating unnecessary characters, cutesy situations, and conflict.
The movie focuses on Sawyer, who has trouble with his teacher; Sawyer's beloved cousin, injured in an unnamed war, has a rehab doctor who fashions the dolphins new prosthetic tail; the animal hospital is in danger of being being bought out by a land developer. The problem is, none of that really happened and it all seems very contrived, predictable, and often dull. (I fell asleep in the middle.) I would have enjoyed a 30-minute documentary with the real people who saved the dolphin much more than this fictionalized movie which wastes the talents of Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Kris Kristofferson. I think it's too long for children and there should have been more scenes with Winter.
All in all, it's just an okay movie.