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I did not know there was a fourth 'Free Willy'. This is not exactly a follow-up. There's no connection between previous films and this, except the Orca named as Willy. They call it a reboot, but instead they should have turned it into a prequel. Because this storyline was very much like that kind. I'm not a big fan of this franchise, so I was not expecting anything big. One of the reason I watched it for our Steve Irwin's beloved daughter. This is her acting debute and she was quite good, though not the ideal one.
She as Kirra lives alone with her single father and after he met with an accident, she was sent to her grandfather's in South Africa. The old man who runs a small seaside amusement park, Kirra does not find hard to get adjusted, not without initial dislike for him. But it was when she finds a baby Orca that trapped in the park's small lagoon. Since she begins to fight for its freedom, but has to go through many obstacles and in the end how the story end was told with a tiny twist.
Not a bad film. Small cost film, a neat production. Nice performances too. Simple and predictable story, but would work well for little kids. Beautiful places, well, most of the film was shot in a single location, though it looked very nice. And the killer whale calf was a toy in most of the closer shots, as well in a few stunt sequences. Not a film for deliberately jump in to watch, but if you decide to watch, just keep away your grownup egos to enjoy it as a kid. Particularly for its message, to save the wild animals from human's captivity.
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