Review: LONG GONE WILD Is The Unofficial BLACKFISH Sequel We Didn’t Expect


Although it was never going to be as good as Blackfish, Long Gone Wild is nonetheless an interesting supplement to a story we already know.
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Long Gone Wild, directed by Bill Neal, is a new documentary that picks up after the iconic exposé Blackfish left off. Although it never manages to live up to the captivating allure of the aforementioned hit, this is still a challenging and enlightening film about an industry that has a lot of dark secrets.

Whereas Blackfish was focused primarily on exposing the unethical activities at SeaWorld and (successfully) trying to enact change, Long Gone Wild serves as an unofficial sequel of sorts, exploring the effects (or lack thereof) that the first documentary had on the captive animals industry. For a majority of the movie, we watch as the filmmakers evaluate the “changes” that SeaWorld has claimed to be making. However, the more compelling portion of the film is that which takes us internationally, showing us how aquatic parks across the globe are retrogressing to worse levels than before.

One of the main challenges this movie faces is trying to live up to the cultural phenomenon that was Blackfish. That film was so well-received and seen by so many people (including audiences who typically don’t see documentaries) that it was the force of change that caused SeaWorld to alter its practices. Because this movie is so well-known by so many people, it is hard not to make comparisons, and frankly, Blackfish is more entertaining.

The main reason why Blackfish caught on was that it was a horrifying exposé that altered the public perception of an institution that was a part of many childhoods. Since this knowledge is already out into the public, it no longer feels as horrifying or affecting. Sure, it is still heartbreaking to see these animals being treated in this way, but it isn’t shocking or new anymore.

orca wild

Additionally, this film lacks the human element that made Blackfish even more resonant. That movie focused heavily on the story of Dawn Brancheau, the trainer who was tragically killed by one of the orcas at SeaWorld during a show. This film attempts to address some of the safety issues that the trainers face, but it isn’t able to do so with as much depth or emotional nuance.

The story is told predominantly through interviews with experts in the field. For obvious reasons, SeaWorld didn’t really participate in this movie. However, the interviews that the film does have are pretty effective at conveying the message and story. The story of one animal rights activist who attempts to infiltrate an orca holding compound in China is particularly fascinating.

On a technical level, the film is mostly fine. You can tell that the filmmakers had much less money at their disposal in this case than the filmmakers of Blackfish did, but nonetheless, the movie still does what it needs to get done. There is just enough variety in the type of footage used to keep the audience interested in the story.

For the most part, Long Gone Wild is a pretty good documentary. Is it likely to catch on and cause the same amount of change as Blackfish? Probably not. Still, it serves as a nice companion piece and follow-up to the groundbreaking exposé.

Long Gone Wild is now available on VOD.


Jack Ryan and Jim Greer BFF Moments | Prime Video

The perfect bromance continues in Season 2, streaming now. » Watch Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan Season 2 now exclusively with your Prime Membership: » SUBSCRIBE: About Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: When CIA analyst Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan stumbles upon a suspicious series of bank transfers his search for answers pulls him from the…

McMillions (2019): Official Teaser | HBO

MCMILLIONS - This documentary series chronicles the stranger-than-fiction story of an ex-cop turned security auditor who rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly game promotion for a decade, stealing millions of dollars and building a vast network of co-conspirators across the U.S. The series draws on exclusive firsthand accounts and archival footage, featuring: the FBI agents who brought…

The Irishman | Decades of Costume Design | Netflix

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN, a saga of organized crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles…

Black Lightning | Season 3 Episode 8 | The Book Of Resistance: Chapter Three Scene | The CW

Stream new episodes of Black Lightning Tuesdays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About BLACK LIGHTNING: Jefferson Pierce is a man wrestling with a secret. Nine years ago, Pierce was gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, which he used to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked…

Silicon Valley: Jared and Gwart (Season 6 Episode 6 Clip) | HBO

One large artichoke, extra rare, cup of mayonnaise. #HBO #SiliconValleyHBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: From Mike Judge (Office Space, Beavis & Butthead) comes this tech-savvy satire about programmer Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch), whose game-changing compression algorithm becomes the subject of a valley-wide bidding war. Silicon Valley is available to stream now on…

Soundtrack | Official Trailer | Netflix

Every song is a love song. Watch the trailer for Soundtrack, premiering December 18th only on Netflix. Watch Soundtrack, Only on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide…

Watchmen: Episode 8 Promo | HBO

Every love has a story. New episodes of Watchmen air Sundays at 9PM. #HBO #WatchmenHBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: Watchmen is based on the graphic novel co-created and illustrated by Dave Gibbons and published by DC. Follow Watchmen on Instagram: Follow Watchmen on Twitter: Like Watchmen on Facebook: Don’t have…

Quiet, Intimate and Pure: Sound Mixing on The Irishman | Netflix

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci star in Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN, a saga of organized crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here