After recently watching and reviewing The Cove, I had reservations about seeing this movie. Could I write an unbiased review while I still had disturbing images of helpless dolphins swimming in my brain? With some trepidation, I slipped the DVD into the player and viewed this film that was inspired by a true story. Sawyer Nelson, played by Nathan Gamble (The Dark Knight, Marley & Me), was riding his bicycle by the beach when a man was calling for help. Going up to him Sawyer saw why the call for help; there was a beached dolphin with its tail stuck in a crab trap. Trying to help the poor animal, Sawyer felt a special bond to it. When Dr. Clay Haskett, played by Harry Connick Jr. (New in Town, P.S. I Love You), arrived from the marine animal hospital; it took a group effort to secure the dolphin and transport it back for some needed care. With Sawyer checking in on the animal, a transformation emerged that changed the life of the young boy. I found myself drawn into the story, understanding the reasons why the writers made it schmaltzy. The goal was to pull at the viewers’ heart strings. For me it was too forced and manipulative. Besides being predictable, I felt the movie was way over the top in being cute and heartfelt. All it needed was a swelling of violin music. With that being said, I still shed a couple of tears in the appropriate places. My heart is built to go out to the disadvantaged.
2 1/2 stars — DVD