“You can't just throw two dolphins in the water together.”
And that’s basically the only conflict driving the plot for this sequel. I was a huge fan of Charles Martin Smith’s first film starring Winter, the dolphin with the prosthetic tail, but there isn’t anything appealing about this sequel which barely has a plot. I felt that there was never really much at stake here and many of the emotional moments felt forced, unlike in the first film where there was a lot at stake. There were a lot of fillings and subplots that never did anything to help build the pacing, and despite remaining family friendly, most children will probably be bored by this sequel. I never got engaged with it and perhaps much of that had to do with the weak script and the lack of conflict. The characters which I really liked the first time around didn’t do anything for me in this sequel and I didn’t feel that same connection they had with Winter this time around. Dolphin Tale 2 has all the right ingredients for a direct to DVD movie, but somehow it has been released in the big screen and received some positive reviews from the critics (only 4% lower than Interstellar according to Rottentomatoes). It astonishes me considering this film is formulaic and predictable with very little going for it. A week from now everyone will forget about it.
The true star of the franchise is Winter, but in this sequel we really don’t get to see the dolphin all that much. There really isn’t much at stake either, and we know how everything is going to play out. The cast is back again, which means we get some cameos from Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Kris Kristofferson, but they aren’t given any substantial role this time around. The film centers once again on the child actors, Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff, who deliver solid performances but don’t add much to the story. From the first scene you can tell that the producers were simply trying to cash in after the success of the first film because there is not much going for it story wise. The true story is inspirational and the original film has touched many people’s lives, but there wasn’t any need for a sequel.