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Finding Dory - The Riles Review
Usually a sequel with a decade of absence in between release means that whatever magic they found in the first film is long lost. Boondock Saints 2 was slammed after 10 years in waiting, and Clerks 2 is either an instant classic or a plastic-wrapped turd depending on who you ask. But Finding Dory took even longer to surface, a whole 13 years in fact. Mind you, I don’t think anyone has been biting their nails and crying for this since 2003, but now it’s here and we’re all pretending we were. Regardless of how “necessary” a sequel might’ve been for Finding Nemo, we’ve got it and it is well worth the wait.
Dory still can’t remember stuff all that well. But after some Memento-type stuff she goes walkabouts, leaving Nemo and Marlin to find her, and make some friends along the way.
Finding Dory may have been absent for 13 years, but it picks up in a way that is just seamless. The story starts a year after the events of Finding Nemo, and it feels like that’s exactly when they made it. Everything just seems to plug in. The actual drama and “finding” part of the movie kicks off in a way that feels a little fast but you don’t really notice because the movie is absolutely gorgeous. It is a stunning production. Every location has its own theme and feel, and the fish and other characters populating these locations are all unique and wonderfully characterised. All the returning characters, which is almost the entire original cast, slide right back into their roles with a heck of a lot of ease.
The plot does follow the same story arc as Nemo but that holds almost no consequence, considering the audience is made up of either youngsters looking for nothing but colours, or semi to fully grown adults who grew up on the first film and want exactly that experience again. Diversity in the series’ plot structure shouldn’t rank high for anyone I assume. One thing that started to irk me was the flashbacks. It would jump back in time to Dory’s youth, and it did it a hell of a lot too. I got a little bored of it, but I imagine the eight-year-olds behind me weren’t any less enthused.
Finding Nemo was such a success partly due to the great number of fantastic characters the mains encountered on their journey. Finding Dory replicates this success, and I think is even better at presenting an eclectic group of animals that are animated beautifully and embodied to great effect by the voice actors.. Everyone the characters encounter is funny, bizarre and colourful. For me I think the standouts were Idris Elba and Dominic West, playing two sea lions sitting on a rock. They were the funniest pair, and thankfully appeared more than in just a single scene. All the other characters are played by some talented voice actors as well, and I am willing to wager that the characters in Finding Dory are just as memorable, if not more memorable, than the ones in Finding Nemo. Although if my 6-year-old self had heard that he’d probably tell me I’m full of shit and unplug my Playstation controller.
Wrapping it up...
So here we are. Mountains have been moved and the sequel every millennial has been waiting for has arrived. It’s met and exceeded expectations all over. At this point the world could blow up, and 48% of Australia’s population would say it was a lifetime fulfilled. We haven’t had a stable prime minister since 2006, and we probably won’t have affordable homes ever again, but God damn it we got Finding Dory. Blow us up. Go on, do it. We already won.
Finding Dory - 8.5/10