PIXAR has had 13 years to figure out a way to recapture the lightning in a bottle magic that they created with the marine-themed Finding Nemo.
It has given its best shot with a Dory-driven story.
A year after the events in 2003’s Finding Nemo, the memory of adorable forgetful blue tang fish Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is triggered.
She begins to remember snippets of her childhood and her parents Jenny (Diane Keaton) and Charlie (Eugene Levy) before she was separated from them.
Desperate to find them, reconnect and have a family to call her own, she sets out to find them with friends Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence).
Their journey takes them to the Marine Life Institute, a place where rescued sick fish are taken for rehabilitation, where they meet an array of colourful marine life.
Making Dory the main protagonist has its pros and cons – she is undoubtedly the most interesting and lovable character, yet a full film solely about her forgetfulness is stretching things.
The repeated joke wears thin.
Much has been made of the Pixar debut of a lesbian couple, which turns out to be a disappointingly fleeting ‘blink and you will miss it’ appearance, but more should be made about the nonsensical guest appearance by Sigourney Weaver as herself.
I am all for a Weaver comeback but this left-field cameo is bizarre.
Finding Dory is strangely lacking in the thought-provoking message department, other than ‘family is important’ and ‘friends are family’, which are sweet sentiments but not as challenging as Pixar’s recent Inside Out.
Yet this sequel does have its delightful moments and offers some big laughs along the way.
And do not forget to take tissues along with you, because this film will have you on the verge of tears from the get-go.
One could come away from this underwater adventure having enjoyed it but not being necessarily enthusiastic about it.
Like Dory, one could forget all about it fairly quickly.
Finding Dory (PG)
Directed by: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill
Three and a half stars
Review by Julian Wright
In cinemas June 16