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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.12%
Worth A Look: 18.18%
Pretty Bad: 6.06%
Total Crap: 21.21%

1 review, 27 user ratings

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Free Willy
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by Ryan Arthur

"This is NOT a porn movie. You've been warned."
3 stars

The heartwarming tale of a boy and his...whale.

Free Willy presents a twist on the "boy and his dog" genre, by making the dog a killer whale. The same basic plot will follow: loner boy (Jason James Richter, in this case) in foster home who hates his relative captivity befriends lonely whale at water park who hates his captivity. The two become friends (as friendly as boy and whale can become, I guess). But there's a problem.

Michael Ironside, mean, evil man that he is, decides to exploit the relationship between whale and boy, who has gone on to become a trainer for the whale along with the other professional trainers (including Lori Petty). Nevermind the fact that he's just 12. Then Ironside (the actor, not that old Raymond Burr TV series) decides that he needs to have the whale killed so he can collect the insurance money. This, of course, sets off a devious plan to release the whale into the wild.

It's fluff, and predictable fluff at that, but it basically works. The mix of live and animatronic whales is pretty seamless (unlike the later sequels), so it looks like we're seeing the real deal all the time (except for a poorly done CGI climax in which the whale jumps over the boy). The affection between the boy and the whale seems genuine, and the relatationship between the boy and the foster parents seems fairly realistic as well.

Parents could do worse for their kids on a Saturday night.

Harmless stuff for the kiddies, although older kids may be a little restless when they hear that Michael Jackson song.

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originally posted: 12/03/98 01:47:02
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User Comments

6/03/09 Aaron Gookin This IS a good movie get a life to those SOBs that hate it! 4 stars
12/21/08 Shaun Wallner Well made. 3 stars
3/29/08 Pamela White awesome kids show 5 stars
12/02/07 davidbobo20 awesome movie! much better than the sequels. Jason James Richter at his best. 5 stars
6/15/07 David Risser good, but I can see why some people don't like it. 4 stars
4/25/06 Anthony Feor A great and touching flick 4 stars
12/20/05 cody a good kids flim , with good story and great ending! 4 stars
7/20/05 Chris I still hate it 2 stars
7/19/05 Brandy Harrington Gay. 1 stars
6/10/05 Jeff Anderson Predictable to the hilt, but entertaining. In a rare non-toughguy role, Madsen is terrific. 4 stars
11/17/04 Justin good movie 5 stars
5/17/04 John never slides into sentimental melodrama - good performances 4 stars
11/27/03 he an okay film 3 stars
4/16/03 JL Cutesy. 3 stars
3/26/03 Jack Sommersby It's passable, but too contrived and predictable. Madsen is appealingly low-key. 3 stars
1/09/03 Elizabeth Andricopoulos im 15 years old and ever since the first rime this movie came out it has been my favorite! 5 stars
1/08/02 the wise wizard fuck yooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!this is bullshit 1 stars
8/31/01 Henry Ginsberg I cant belive i missed an episode of The Thmorrow People to go and see this. 1 stars
4/12/01 Andrew Carden I guess if you like whales you'll enjoy this, but others may want to leave it alone. 3 stars
11/15/00 The EVIL Penguin BBBBOOOOOOORRRRRIIIIIIINNNNNNGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
3/17/00 David Rogers Jump Willy! And squish that annoying little kid while your at it. 3 stars
6/13/99 Ah Dooey bullshit 1 stars
3/18/99 Max Bernstein Jump for it Willy! Jump with all your might!!! 1 stars
9/28/98 katherine oh god. i hate this movie. its soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo annoying 2 stars
9/06/98 Sentaia E. Powergal I watched this movie at school when I was little and it bored me to tears. 1 stars
8/31/98 Mister Whoopee it's lori pretty, man. that's an extra star, right there. 3 stars
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  16-Jul-1993 (PG)



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