Free Willy 3: The Rescue, directed by Sam Pillsbury (1997), is a film that continues on with Jesse, his relationship with Willy, and how he saves Willy once again. This go around Jesse is saving Willy and his pod from whale poachers with the help of the captain of the poacher’s boat, Botany Bay, son, Max. The film excludes the entirety of Jesse’s family and he spends his time on a whale research boat helping make calls and study orcas. Which is a different take and they honestly didn’t really need Jesse at all in this film. He was just there to save the day but Max could have been hero of the story instead and Randolph could have been the link between the two. It’s an interesting take to introduce poaching, the idea of a black market, and geo tagging animals to study their lives. When I watched this when I was younger, most of it went over my head. None of that was necessary since it was surface level and no added depth for plot or anything. It was just there to make the bad guys look bad and the good guys look good. Which is fine for a children’s film but they didn’t need those points then. The acting was a lot better than the second film. It’s enjoyable and a fun mindless watch that children will enjoy.
Watched on hbomax.com