There's something at stake here, and it's not just the conscience of Ric O'Barry, who as the former dolphin trainer for the 1960s television show Flipper feels responsible for the planet's porpoise fetish. It's not often that documentaries pack as much suspense as action flicks (and even rarer that one does so without re-enactments), but The Cove is a mighty exception.
As O'Barry assembles and puts into action his ninja squad of world-class ocean-savvy operatives to document the seasonal dolphin holocaust in Taiji, Japan, the question is not whether any of these commandos will be killed — it's how many? You don't need to be a PETA nut to respect O'Barry's brass balls; a colleague was choked to death with her own belt, for shit's sake.
In the end, there are two lessons here: "A dolphin's smile is nature's greatest deception," and when it comes to protecting marine life, the Japanese government is the world's greatest deceiver.