Willy the smart and rebellious whale and Jessie the orphaned boy team up to escape Willy's captivity and horrible owner to get back to his pod. Can they succeed with the help of Annie and Glenn Jessie's foster parents, Randolph the spiritual friend of Willy and Jessie, and Rae Willy's trainer?
Unlike the first movie, a robotic killer whale is playing Willy instead of Keiko. See more »
When Jesse, Nadine and Elvis sets out in the boat towards the end of the movie, following Willy and the other Orcas, it's daylight. When the helicopter arrives to rescue them from the burning oil, it's suddenly dark out. It wouldn't take the rescue helicopter several hours to either locate or rescue them, so it couldn't have been evening/late at night. See more »
Is there an amusement park on this island?
No, there's a whale spotting station.
Is that where they paint spots on the whales?
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On the 2003 DVD, there is an error in the Warner Bros. Family Entertainment logo; when Bugs Bunny eats his carrot while posing by the WB shield, one second of it is skipped. However, the logo is fixed on digital platforms. See more »
What can I say? Overall, it's another unfulfilling family adventure
If you've seen my comment on the original "Free Willy", which is not a positive one, you might be wondering why I'm reviewing this sequel, why I would have bothered watching it. Well, the only explanation I can give is that I saw it at school back in 1996, on my last day of Grade 3. While I couldn't seem to remember that much of it from that first viewing, I clearly remember that the climax had my heart pounding, and it was a memorable way to mark the end of my years as a primary student. So, it's another film from my childhood which I decided to revisit, and probably wouldn't have ever ended up seeing at all had I not seen it before. Since I didn't like the original 1993 film when I watched it recently, it's no surprise I'm not too impressed with this 1995 sequel, either.
It has been two years since Jesse brought Willy, the orca whale, back to his natural habitat. The two haven't seen each other since then, but Jesse is happy living with his foster parents, Glen and Annie Greenwood. However, the teenager is not happy when he is informed that his birth mother has just died, and his younger half-brother, Elvis, is coming to live with them. Jesse and Elvis do not get along, and their conflict continues on a camping trip with their foster parents, on which they have to share a tent. On this trip, Jesse finally sees Willy again, and also reunites with his friend, Randolph. Randolph introduces his goddaughter, Nadine, whom Jesse quickly falls in love with. Trouble comes when an oil tanker crashes and spills its contents into the water, threatening the lives of the whales! While Jesse and others attempt to save these whales, Elvis has problems of his own.
I didn't care much for many of the characters in the original film, but this sequel introduces Elvis, played by Francis Capra, and he might be slightly worse than any character featured in the 1993 smash hit family movie. It seems Capra was given some poor lines in this role, such as what his character says when he realizes his foster parents aren't rich. Of course, not all cheesy lines in the movie come from him. Basically, most aspects of this movie weren't done so well, including the conflict between Jesse and Elvis, which may be a little extreme at times, and the teen romance between Jesse and Nadine. Like the original, there is some tension, and also maybe a few poignant moments, but at times, it may try too hard, or not hard enough. I have to admit, I actually found it mildly amusing when Glen and Annie go out looking for Elvis and Michael Jackson's song, "Childhood" suddenly begins. I'm sorry, I know it's a deeply personal song of Jackson's, about his tragic upbringing, and I know he is now dead, but in this movie, the song seemed to be thrown in, as a poor attempt to push the right buttons on the audience. I didn't even know the artist was Michael Jackson when I watched the film.
It seems "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home" is less popular than the original "Free Willy", even though some critics considered it superior. Personally, I'm pretty much indifferent to both of them. I've explained why I decided to watch and review this sequel, but since I've never seen the final installment in the trilogy, 1997's "Free Willy 3: The Rescue" (which appears to be even less popular), to this day, I don't intend to watch it. I don't like what I've seen in the first two so much, so I obviously don't want to sit through another hour and a half or so of what is probably pretty much the same thing. Despite how long it's been since the last "Free Willy" movie was made, more than one source tells me that there will be a "Free Willy 4" released next year, starring Bindi Irwin, the daughter of late conservationist Steve Irwin (a.k.a. "The Crocodile Hunter"). Apparently, it will be a direct-to-DVD release. No offence to the Irwins, but I will definitely be passing on this one as well.
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