The Whale Review
Trailing in the gory wake of Shark Night 3D is this gentle, Bambi-level-sad documentary about an orphaned killer whale named Luna who never harmed anybody and only wanted to be loved. Separated from his pod near Vancouver Island, Canada, he begged for human contact and play, posed for photographs, nuzzled boats, frolicked with logs and buoys, allowed children to pet him, and even enjoyed tongue scratchings without ever biting anyone. Can you guess the tragic outcome? Of course you can, because Luna's story was widely reported last decade. If your children love animals, by all means, take them to see The Whale. If you appreciate gorgeous scenery, the movie doubles as a picture postcard for the region. If you simply want to indulge in warm-and-fuzzy scenes of whale petting, this movie is also for you. What it is not, however, is remotely new. Orca-phile filmmakers Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm, married ex-journalists who should know better, omit the dates of their story, as if it happened just yesterday. And while they fluff up the conflict between the "no touching" feds and Luna-besotted locals, all parties are simply too polite, decent, and Canadian for any real drama. And though Luna's demise isn't shown on camera, the film still packs an extra dollop of pathos: It's narrated by Vancouver's favorite son, Ryan Reynolds, and co-produced with Scarlett Johansson, who recently divorced him. Now that's sad.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.