Finding Dory wins just one miserable star, for one reason: The
animation throughout is astonishingly realistic.
However, almost everything else about the film is a train wreck of
ocean-sized proportions. Take no notice of the reviews of the critics,
who seem to be doing everything to try and defend this horribly
But how is it a mess? Here's why. The whole film just fails to give you
a reason to want to sit through all of it again. It doesn't feel like a
proper story, instead more like a series of antics and ideas thrown
into an overflowing, ugly mix. It's chaotic, too long and so stupid at
times that it has to be seen to be believed. This is easily one of
Finding Dory's most egregious flaw as its shockingly incompetent
pacing. The film is frantic, mindless and over-concerned with shoving
in jokes and sight gags. Scenes are so rushed and so needlessly silly
that they just aren't believable. Introduced characters get little
development and are just forgettable. Will anyone really remember or
care about Hank the octopus, Destiny the whale shark or those
argumentative sea-lions in the future?
The film's strict adherence to sequel clichés also seriously crosses
the line. Returning plot elements, rehashed scenarios, character cameos
and overblown action scenes are all here and are never justified. In
fact, by the end of it, the entire film hasn't even justified its
existence. Furthermore, the characters suffer so much bad luck that it
eventually turns into "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" with fish.
Everything starts going wrong. Detours are constantly taken. Death is
cheated over and over. And yet, the characters constantly escape via
methods so contrived and convenient that it's impossible to take
seriously. Admittedly, it's kind of creative in places, but it's also
as predictable as you can imagine.
The climax, however, is where the film finally crashes into the ground.
It's astoundingly awful. Picture this - an octopus driving a lorry
extremely poorly and not crashing into any oncoming cars. A large group
of otters hugging each other in the middle of the road in order to stop
these cars. And finally, the same lorry being driven over a hill and
into the sea. This is the climax simplified - except that it's way, way
worse than that. It can't even describe how bad it is. It's a horribly
written climax and is jaw-droppingly nonsensical.
Why stop there? The film fails in so many other ways that you can play
bingo with its flaws. There are way too many flashbacks to Dory's
cutesy childhood. "Emotional" scenes are dull and stretched thin.
Marlin and Nemo are in it, but mean little to the plot. A scene where a
bunch of kids are touching some sea life, who are shown feeling the
constant pain, is not at all funny but uncomfortable. Several scenes,
like one with a talking clam, just feel shoved in for no reason. Many
jokes fall flat. The dialogue is stale and charmless. I could go on and
The whole thing is an embarrassing atrocity. As much as I'd love to
give more stars to this movie, I feel it deserves just one. Because the
bad aspects of this movie are so bad, they essentially undo the good
ones. Yes, it's well-animated. Yes, it has some very minor charming
parts. Yes, it can be creative at times. But everything else about the
film is brainless to a damning extreme. Finding Nemo worked because it
was melancholic, tear-jerking and uplifting. It resonated with
everyone. Its sequel has almost none of what made the original a