Eye of the Dolphin (2006)

I'll readily admit that I've been a long time sucker for any dolphin movie. I've seen all the Flipper stuff, and even enjoyed The Day of the Dolphin. With that disclaimer, that I'm long overdo for a dolphin movie, I'll proceed with my review of Eye of the Dolphin.

The overall plot is rather formulaic, trite and been done many times before. Carly Schroeder ably portrays Alyssa, a troubled teen that is heading the wrong way after her mother's death. Her grandmother, Lucy (played by Katherine Ross, who has worked in "ABC After School Specials" and reprises that sort of role here) has her hands more than full. Alyssa's father, Dr. James Hawk (Dunbar), a struggling dolphin communication researcher in the Bahamas, has no idea that he even has a daughter. Eye of the Dolphin is about reconnecting with his daughter, and her maturing beyond her rebelliousness. In a way, this film reminds me of In the Land of Woman.

However, to write this off as just another family-friendly-formula-film would be an error. For starters, it's visually very well done. From the picturesque scenes of the Bahamas, to the stunning underwater photography, Eye of the Dolphin is stunning. For those of us that don't scuba dive, or haven't taken part in a dolphin experience, this may be the best we can do to see these remarkable animals.

As the film progresses, we see the parallels between Alyssa, the wild girl, and the wild dolphin that she befriends. Both need to come to an understanding to mature. We also see the relationship between father and daughter mature, and in the end, there is no doubt that she is a chip off the old block. Adding to the authenticity of the film is that they used the native Bahamians as extras throughout Eye of the Dolphin.

The bottom line is that this film is an enjoyable entry into the genre of "dolphin films." If you dream of a Caribbean vacation right from your armchair, than this film is for you. While it's nothing exceptional, Eye of the Dolphin is quite strong in many areas.

Overall Grade: B+

Reviewed by Jonas

See the trailer here.

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