A quintessential OmniMax movie, "Dolphins" is almost a travelogue that fills a huge screen with eye-popping images. For forty minutes, its larger-than-life images flood a five-story screen, and take us into swimming pods of dolphins. The best footage shows one dolphin scoring on an IQ test with unsettling accuracy, and other remarkable shots include dolphins hunting, having sex, cavorting, and eating. Breathtaking helicopter shots of the Caribbean and lucid underwater photography, along with spectacular transitions between scenes, are simply beautiful: A giant map of the Bahamas in an awe-inspiring zoom gradually animates, then is finally blown away, revealing the Islands.
Dolphins is serious about people, too, and focuses on two fascinating specimens: naturalist Dean Bernal, a close friend of dolphin JoJo, and Marine biologist Kathleen Dudzinski, who is intellectually and emotionally committed to dolphin studies and full of interesting information about them. Swimming among dolphins of her acquaintance. she's essentially their equal, and nothing short of impressive.
One complaint is that Dudzinsky has only a couple of brief scenes, and Bernal, although emotionally invested in Jojo -- as revealed in their detailed, wordless telepathy -- seems to communicate better with JoJo than with the camera.
All in all, the viewer thus is given an inexpensive trip to the Bahamas, or to Terra Del Fuego, and beautiful exposure to remarkable sentient beings.
Tim Cahill and Steve Judson
Narrated by Pierce Brosnan
Dolphins, intelligence, Bahamas, naturalists
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