Free Willy

"Weak"

Free Willy Review


What won't a boy do for his whale?

Back in 1993, Free Willy became an inexplicable sensation despite its relatively unlikeable lead character Jesse (Jason James Richter) and the fact that the cuddly creature he frees is not cuddly in the slightest.

Willy is a whale (played by Keiko, who has since been freed and now lives off the coast of Scandinavia), and he's almost as bratty as Jesse. So naturally these two come together to save each other -- Jesse saves Willy from being turned into blubber at the hands of his unhappy owners, and Willy saves Jesse from being a punk for the rest of his life by giving him something to do with his time (namely, feeding Willy fish and teaching him to jump and wave and stuff). Pretty cute. If your kids like whales, they're gonna love this movie.

If not, they'll probably find the film is saccharine as most adults. The characters are unilaterally hard to like (Michael Madsen as a "good guy" foster father? Lori Petty as a whale trainer? Who cast ths movie!?). The plot is embarassingly straightforward and obvious. The sets are low-budget and reflect the obvious fact that it costs a whole lot of money to rent a whale, leaving little cash for anything else.

And despite all odds, this inexplicably works. Free Willy went on to become one of the best-selling videos of all time (no doubt the 10th anniversary DVD will join it) and spawned two sequels along the same boy-saves-whale-saves-boy lines. And the phrase "Free Willy" has entered the pop culture lexicon in numerous ways the producers probably never expected.



Free Willy

Facts and Figures

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th July 1993

Box Office Worldwide: $153.7M

Budget: $20M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros., Canal+, Regency Enterprises, Alcor Films, Donner/Shuler-Donner Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 57%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jesse, as Rae Lindley, as Randolph Johnson, as Glen Greenwood, as Annie Greenwood, as Dial, as Wade, as Dwight Mercer, as Perry, as Gwenie, Isaiah Malone as Vector, Betsy Toll as Passerby #1, Rob Sample as Passerby #2, Merrilyn Jones as Passerby #3, Mickey Gaines as Waiter


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Amy Movie Review

Amy Movie Review

As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

This declining franchise really needed a jolt to the head, but the producers disappointingly opt...

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks...

Advertisement
Everly Movie Review

Everly Movie Review

A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...

Slow West Movie Review

Slow West Movie Review

First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a...

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of...

Entourage Movie Review

Entourage Movie Review

Both shameless and shamelessly entertaining, this relentlessly boyish movie carries on exactly as the TV...

Advertisement