Genre: Adventure/ Action/ Family
Director: Vincent Kesteloot, Ben Stassen
Cast: Pat Carroll, Carlos McCullers, Cinda Adams, Dino Andrade, Chris Andrew Ciulla, Isabelle Fuhrman, Wesley Johnny
RunTime: 1 hr 33 mins
Released By: Shaw
Official Website: -
Opening Day: 23 May 2013
Synopsis: Sammy and Ray, leatherback turtles and friends forever, are enjoying an atoll's water and sand, shepherding new hatchlings Ricky and Ella out to sea. Suddenly, a poacher swoops in and ships them off to be part of a spectacular aquarium show for tourists in Dubai.
The kingpin of the place, Big D the seahorse, enlists them in his plans for a great escape. But with their new friends Jimbo the bug-eyed blob fish, Lulu the snippy lobster and a whole family of penguins, Sammy and Ray hatch breakout plans of their own. That is when little Ricky and Ella arrive, determined to break in to rescue them.
After a series of thrilling adventures and narrow escapes, our heroes head south to meet up with Shelly, Sammy's first and only love..
Not unless you are under the age of seven or accompanying one for that matter will you find any reason to catch “Sammy 2”, otherwise known as “Sammy’s Great Escape”, the Belgium-made sequel to an equally pedestrian predecessor that plays like a rip-off of Disney/ Pixar’s classic ‘Finding Nemo’.
As uncomplicated as it gets, the premise has two hatchback turtles - the original’s Sammy and Ray - getting nabbed by poachers and sold off to a huge aquarium show in Dubai. Just as well, two of their hatchlings, Ricky and Ella, also get caught up in the poachers’ nets and become displaced in the great ocean from their family. So, as ‘Finding Nemo’ would have it, Sammy and Ray have to reunite with Ricky and Ella and make their way back home.
The original’s writers, Vincent Kesteloot and Ben Stassen, have returned to assume both writing and directing duties on this one, but seeing how uninspired their previous outing was, one should come to expect little here. Indeed, not only are the main characters bland and dull, the situations they are placed in - involving some other denizens of the aquarium, including a lobster with a split personality, a bug-eyed blob fish and a conniving seahorse - aren’t particularly exciting as well.
The only thing that ‘Sammy 2’ has going for it are its colourful visuals, which are just good enough to captivate the youngest of viewers. Of course, this isn’t at the level of technical mastery one has come to expect from Dreamworks or Disney/ Pixar, but kids are unlikely to be as demanding. Even more so when they view it in the stereoscopic dimension, which despite the additional dollars, should be additionally delightful for the younger crowd - and might we say was much better than what our low expectations had prepared us for.
In short, if you have kids under six that need a harmless distraction, ‘Sammy 2’ is as safe a bet as any with its simple storyline, vivid visuals and snappy soundtrack. Just be sure not to expect the kind of all-round family entertainment that ‘Finding Nemo’ or ‘Happy Feet’ was, though the fact that this is not any challenging fare means you probably won’t have to bother about any questions during or after the movie. .
(Strictly for distracting the kids - aged six and below)
Review by Gabriel Chong