Arriving a decade too late, this long-gestating sequel to 2003’s masterpiece “Finding Nemo” lands without much fanfare, with a bland screenplay littered with one-liners that are more amusing than funny, a running time that feels about twice as long as it is, and a plot that plays like a never-ending series of climaxes. Ellen DeGeneres is back as the voice of the titular character but the magic seems gone: DeGeneres’s vocal performance is distracted, as though the comedian recorded her lines in between tapings of her daytime show. Despite a star-studded voice cast, only Ed O’Neill as Hank the octopus seems to be really trying, and the movie deploys Sigourney Weaver’s voice as a running joke that never seems to know whether or not the punchline has been delivered. It’s not that the movie is bad per se, it’s that, coming on the heels of the original a decade and a half later, the audience expects more than a blandly serviceable corporate effort.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)