A Wholesome “Dolphin Tale 2”
By Skip Sheffield
For wholesome family entertainment you can’t go wrong with “Dolphin Tale 2.” Sure it’s a sequel and it is not exactly exciting, but “Dolphin 2” is a charming advertisement for Clearwater and the west coast of Florida in general, and it has a couple talented young actors returning in principal roles.
Nathan Gamble reprises his role as aspiring marine biologist Sawyer Nelson and Cozi Zuehisdorff, now 13, returns as Sawyer’s friend Hazel Haskett. Both are volunteers at Clearwater Marine Hospital, where an injured dolphin named Winter is a permanent resident. In the first movie Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Morgan Freeman) invented a prosthetic tale for Winter, who lost hers in an accident.
Morgan Freeman has only a small walk-on role in this sequel. In fact none of the adults matter much. Harry Connick, Jr. has the most screen time as Hazel’s father, Dr. Clay Haskett, but let’s just say Connick is a much better musician than actor.
Ashley Judd also returns as Sawyer’s lovely mom Lorraine Nelson, but really all she has to do is be radiant and lovely, and she does that so well.
The plot is hardly worth mentioning, but for what it’s worth, Winter’s pool mate, an elderly dolphin named Panama, dies, and a snoopy USDA official (Charles Martin Smith, who is also director) warns that Winter must have a pool mate or be shipped to another aquarium.
Spoiler alert: a very cute juvenile dolphin is rescued in the nick of time.
So if you like dolphins, cute kids and happy endings this is a movie for you.