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Customer Review

14 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fishy goings-on, 15 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: The Cove [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Let's get the hype over with first. The packaging of my Amazon DVD shouts (quoting the Daily Telegraph, apparently): 'A SEAT-OF-YOUR-PANTS Bond-style THRILLER'.

No, it isn't. It's a fairly run-of-the-mill but well-meaning documentary with some spurious gadgetry thrown in to spice things up. This isn't to say that the dolphin-bloodbath at the centre of the film is any-the-less horrific or worthy of exposure. But this actually occupies very little time or footage, and the rest of the film is padding (interesting padding, showing up some of Japan's dubious policies in pursuit of its 'right' to hunt cetaceans, but padding never the less).

All the skulduggery - cameras disguised as rocks or slung beneath model helicopters, underwater microphones planted by free diving experts, a miniature airship painted to resemble a whale - is just gimmickry which gets in the way of the film's message. Many of the toys don't even appear to get used. And maybe I'm just cynical, but some of the night-vision 'action' sequences seemed to be staged... and where were the cops? A group of guerilla activists descend on a Japanese hotel (and get through airport customs!) with enough black-bagged hardware to invade Iraq, and yet every night they manage to evade their police tails to successfully trespass around The Cove to conceal their surveillance equipment.

Just for the sake of balance, the film would have been improved if we'd heard the fishermen's point of view, if only to allow us to judge how indefensible it is. Still, the film does succeed in throwing a spotlight on a particularly unpleasant practice, and also raises wider questions about dolphin intelligence and the plight of whales, and fish, in general.

But we don't need to have James Bond on board to get the message across.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 May 2010 10:59:46 BDT
So it's 'padding' but 'interesting padding', hmm..?!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2010 09:33:10 BDT
Bill says:
Yes, that's right. Stuff that they had to put in the film because otherwise it would have been only 30 minutes long.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2011 23:10:50 GMT
Shrap says:
How can you compare whales and dolphins to fish? I haven't seen this "movie" yet, but will soon. You think the Japanese involved in this were going to talk to the film makers? They won't talk because they KNOW it's unreasonable but they don't give a s**t. The camera crew were barely allowed in there. That was the need for the rock cameras etc.
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Location: Cornwall, UK

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