From the production company who made the story of Baltimore Ravens star Michael Oher into the successful film “The Blind Side,” comes another emotionally-charged film.
Despite landing $40 million in its first two weeks, “Dolphin Tale” has the pacing and visual strength of porridge.
Based on a true story, the movie follows a dolphin named Winter who loses her tail in a crab trap and the various humans who try to make her life less awful. A young boy, who is very shy and timid, makes friends with the dolphin and works to attach various implements of metal to create a new robot tail.
“Dolphin Tale” is not a bad movie—it’s just bored, even with itself. If it wasn’t so revoltingly inspiring and wonderful, then I might say that it was a satire. With the right touches, this could be a parody of movies that takes the inspiring true stories and try to play a neat little tune on the sentiments of the general public.
Yet, the movie doesn’t go too far with its sickeningly adorable premise. Most movies of this particular breed seem to delight in the greedy over-extension of their mandibles towards our delicious emotional centers, but “Dolphin Tale” either isn’t hungry or just doesn’t seem to care.
The cast is solid, with an appropriate lack of anyone standing out for anything in particular. The child lead carries himself well and is one of the least horrible children in movies I’ve seen in a while. Morgan Freeman is Morgan Freeman, so even in a movie that plods along with such rigid okayness, he plays a prosthetics doctor as you would expect him to.
This all makes it sound depressing. The movie itself wasn’t sad or depressing, but the fact that it exists kind of is. “Dolphin Tale” seems to want to warm your heart and has all the elements to execute a heartwarming story but doesn’t care enough to go do it.
You can get the same effect of seeing this film just by walking down the Hallmark aisle thinking about Flipper and Morgan Freeman.