This is the second part of the trilogy of the Free Willy movies. In the first one, the young 12-year old boy Jesse (played by Jason James Richter) saves the whale Willy (real name of the whale is Keiko). In this second part the whale Willy saves the boy.
It is very interesting to note that because of the huge success of the first Free Willy movie, there is a massive global movement to release the real whale that is featured in the first movie, whose real name is Keiko. In this part 2, the "whale" is not a real one, and Keiko the real whale is not used, but an animatronics robot whale is used instead.
This movie picks up the story two years after the time of the first one. Jesse is older and calmer. He has been officially adopted by his foster parents who were the ones that helped him release Willy to the ocean, in the first movie. He is a much nicer teenager and much more stable. They find out that Jesse's real mother died in New York and that Jesse has a younger half-brother, who is only 8-years old, named Elvis. They invite Elvis to come be with them when they go on a camping trip to San Juan Island in Washington state. Elvis is a brat and very similar to how Jesse was when he was younger.
Randolph Johnson (played by August Schellenberg) appears once again in this movie. He was the keeper of Willy before in the first one. He is Native American. He has a depth of understanding about whales that goes way beyond conventional approaches. He tells the legend of Natsilane which is a story about the special powers of whales and he reminds Jesse of his spiritual connection with Willy as proof of this.
There is a massive oil spill which threatens the lives of some orca whales that are trapped by the spill. They go save the whales, which they are able to help escape the oil spill, but after that the oil catches fire. Everyone, except Jesse, is rescued from the fiery oil by a helicopter, but Jesse falls back into the water. The oil fire is so intense that the helicopter must fly away leaving Jesse behind. Jesse sinks under water and is rescued by Willy who pushes him up for air. Yet they are still trapped in the flames. Jesse holds on to Willy's fin as the whale dives down deep and under the flaming surface to escape to the safe ocean water beyond. Once Jesse is safe in a Randolph's boat, then Willy leaves Jesse to return to his family or orca whales that swim away together.
Best part of story, including ending:
I like this one because the whale saves the teen-age boy. It is like payback for when the young boy saved the whale in the first movie.
Best scene in story:
When Willy suddenly appears in the oil flames to save Jesse. This is really a terrific moment of the two reuniting.
Opinion about the main character:
Jesse is a much more mature young man now and he guides his much younger brother, who is only 8, and acting out, to follow his path to a better life.