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Elijah Wood - very very cute, especially when wet and partially nekkid
Paul Hogan - strangely attractive, must have been the leather bondage cuff he wore through the whole movie
Plot - very silly
Cute blonde - romance sub-plot highly unconvincing, clearly no girl can come between a boy and his dolphin and Elijah doesn't even make a vague attempt at kissing her, instead choosing to spend all his time fondling Flipper
Ending - strangely similar to Casablanca, as Elijah says farewell to the finned love of his life...
Lij: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I've done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing. You're going out into that sea with your family where you belong.
Flipper: eee eee eee
Lij: Now you've got to listen to me! Do you have any idea what you'd have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten we'd both wind up in SeaWorld. Isn't that true, Paul Hogan?
Paul: I'm afraid the kid is right
Flipper: eee eee eee
Lij: I'm saying it because it's true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with your family. You're part of their life - the thing that keeps them going. If that pod leaves here and you're not with them, you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. And for the rest of your life.
Flipper: eee eee eee
Lij: We'll always have that time under the pier. We didn't have - we lost it until you found the poison barrels. We got it back last night.
Flipper: eee eee eee
Lij: And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. And where I'm going you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Flipper, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of one little boy and his dolphin don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Some day you'll understand that. Here's looking at you, kid.
I'm so moved I may weep.
In summary, approximately 5000 times better than Queen of the Damned, not quite as good as Lord of the Rings.
My rating: 7,7 out of 10. Feel free for mailing me about any of my comments and posts here.
Sorry for my bad English.
In this picture, Sandy (Elijah Wood) is Porter Ricks's nephew (not son as in the show) and is reluctantly sent to his uncle's seaside home for a summer after a (what else?) divorce. Sandy is all but willing to accept his three months living by the ocean until a dolphin separated from its clan following a trigger-happy boater's tirade decides to stop by his favorite pier. Sandy, of course, forms a friendship with the dolphin, whom he names Flipper. And in the end, just like with "Free Willy," the plot leads up to a struggle to reunite Flipper with his kin.
This big-screen version of "Flipper" is a little flimsy and it's more whimsical than it is consistent. And just like with Free Willy, Lassie, Old Yeller, and every other cute critter in these kind of stories, Flipper has the ability to read minds, understand English, and run an underwater bank all without any training (Confused? See the movie). But honestly, I think that is part of the appeal that the TV show had for children and that's why I think that appeal will remain for this movie. Even for this adult, these whimsical and rather implausible adventures and tactics were packed with charm and the nostalgia they stirred up was rather enamoring. Yes, a better movie would be made if they tried to make a more realistic boy-and-dolphin story. How woul a *real* dolphin from the wild react to such a situation and how would an ordinary kid not under the control of movie conventions respond? And of course it'd be better if we didn't have a hokey backstory of toxic waste and an evil hammerhead shark named Scar? Wait? Scar? A shark named Scar? Okay now, Scar is a compelling name for an evil lion or even a Comanche war chief, but a hammerhead shark? The shark is not a good villain here. It's mouth is way too small to communicate menace, the moaning sounds it makes (an impossibility for real sharks) is phony, and the special effects used to simulate it are not sufficient.
But who cares? What do we expect in a "Flipper" movie? A cute dolphin, a simple story, and a lot of whimsical under and out-of-water adventures. We get 'em. And there are some more magical moments, such as a very splendid little sequence where Flipper swims through the depths and explores the marvels of underwater life. The underwater nature photography is quite pleasing. And although Flipper does not do anything that we haven't seen him (or Free Willy, for that matter) do before, he is quite a good-looking and charming character on the screen. But ironically, it is Paul Hogan who carries the movie along when Flipper is not on-camera. Because even though the star, Elijah Wood, is as fine an actor for this part as anyone, he doesn't have anything to do that makes him stand out as a character. His change of mood over the course of the picture, dialogue, and attitude all are familiar. So when he starts to lose our interest, it is Paul Hogan who saves the day. He just has an enormous amount of on-screen charm and charisma with all of his costars. Even the movie's most ardent detractors will agree with that.
Bottom line, even though I had a lot of mixed reactions, I did modestly enjoy this "Flipper" movie. It's not, I say, on par with "Free Willy" but as far as movies about a young, troubled kid and his cetacean best friend go, this one does alright. Paul Hogan is the best element in the picture, but the dolphin is charming enough to make it worth recommending. It is best seen with young children, for it will engage them (as it did me when I was younger) and charm parents as well. And adults who grew up with the TV show will be pleased at the same time.
I'm a great Crocodile Dundee fan myself so absolutely loved Paul Hogan in his role as crusty and comical Uncle Porter. For starters, he keeps an endless stock of Spaghetti-O's in his house to serve as his usual meal, heated with a blowtorch! Elija Wood, Frodo from The Lord of the Rings, appeared quite competent playing the young Sandy, a boy at first none too fond of his forced summer vacation locale.
Of course the dolphin is magnificent and there are some wonderful underwater scenes. Set in the Florida Keys, it was apparently filmed in the Bahamas. This adaptation of Flipper makes great family entertainment, a sweet, sentimental, and fun movie that is infinitely superior to many of the cinematic offerings for youngsters nowadays.
This is about an average boy teenager named Sandy. Who is spending the week with his Uncle which he's unaware on what he's like.
Sandy isn't too excited in seeing him because he really wanted to go to a Red Hot Chilly Peppers concert.
His uncle is Porter an Austrailian/American seaman who enjoys fishing for a living. And lives in a rigidly old hut that might not look to satisfying to guests.
Sandy finds it unbelievable that he's related to this guy. things seem boring till he encounters a dolphin who is very playful. Sandy finds a new friend to be with through out his vacation.
This movie isn't too bad. Cool thing is it had Ejiah Woods as Sandy and Paul Hogan as Porter. I recommend it for 8 and up. Rent it first before buying it.
The story won't surprise too many people - boy befriends dolphin, they solve the problem of missing fish and poorly dolphins by finding illegal toxic waste dumping - but it is colourful, moral, and entertaining, with lots of underwater photography and, of course, dolphins.
Which is not to say that it doesn't have the odd moment which makes you roll your eyes - the hammerhead shark groaning was my favourite - but it is still a pretty good Sunday afternoon family film.
Joel McNeely's music is lovely.
P.S. I must add that the quality of the Universal DVD is superb! It is the best DVD as far as quality I have ever seen. The color and resolution is spectacular. The soundtrack is great. I think Universal must have used the same transfer for the DVD that they did for the laserdisc version. The 35mm scope print is "mint" and Alan's film really has a wonderful look to it. A great tribute to a wonderful film! The DVD's resolution is even superior to the laserdisc quality! It's just spectacular! Thank you Universal Home Video for the great quality control and transfer. Many thank's for doing a superb job on this wonderful family film. Also many thank's to you Alan for all your extreme kindness to me!!! It's a real honor to know you!!! (Review Revised/Updated June 27, 2005)
'Flipper' won't blow the mind. While it is good that the story is easy to follow, at times it did seem a bit too basic and safe, for a feature length it's slight and it can be pretty predictable, nobody for example will be surprised by how the film ends. The dark shadiness of how the human villain is written, played by Jonathan Banks, does not gel with the innocent, fun-loving, light-hearted atmosphere of the story, almost like he accidentally walked straight from a different film.
That Banks didn't seem to know whether to overdo the sliminess or give an indication that the villain also wasn't that smart didn't help. The dialogue sometimes is a little cloying.
However, 'Flipper' looks very pleasing. It's a beautifully shot film and even more pleasing to the eye are the idyllic locations and the stunning underwater sequences. The music is upbeat and charmingly whimsical. It's all very capably directed too.
Most of the time, 'Flipper' is very charming and sweet, epitomising childhood innocence and has a lightness that stops the film from feeling heavy. It has a lot of fun and a heart of gold, so much so that although it's a problematic film it is difficult to be too hard on it. It teaches a valuable message that for the type of message that it is is handled in a way that while not exactly restrained doesn't beat one around the head.
Elijah Wood is appealing in the lead role and Paul Hogan plays it straight very effectively. Apart from Banks, the rest of the cast also do admirably with amiable if somewhat one-dimensional characters. Stealing the show is the dolphin, impressively rendered with a mix of show-stopping animatronics and the real thing but also with a personality that melts the most cynical of hearts. Wood's chemistry with the dolphin is the film's driving force and is a large part of what makes the film charming.
In conclusion, decent likable film but not one of those "bowl the viewer over" films. 6/10 Bethany Cox
As Paul Hogan hasn't done much films since his Crocodile Dundee days, it was great seeing him in the Porter Ticks role, in which I think he gave a comical yet touching performance. Elijah Wood did a nice job portraying Sandy Ricks, and he has a touching on-screen chemistry with the wonderful dolphin. Luke Halpin, the original Sandy Ricks from the TV-series, plays one of the bounty fisherman in the movie. The story is a little slow at times, but the fun dolphin adventures make up for it.
The oceanside scenery is breath-taking and beautiful, reminding you of a care-free, relaxing and therapeutic atmosphere. Overall, it is a heart-warming and innocent film that is great for the entire family and a great substitute to many of the over-the-top action and teen-flick nonsense youngsters endure.
The story isn't particularly strong, with the relationship between Flipper the dolphin and Sandy (Elijah Wood) being the backdrop to a larger environmental story revolving around the illegal dumping of toxic waste. Paul Hogan appears as Sandy's uncle Porter, a fisherman in Coral Key, Florida who takes Sandy in for the summer. Jonathon Banks plays another take on the caricature of the requisite evil character - in this case, the one who kills Flipper's dolphin companion at the beginning of the movie, tries to do away with Flipper himself, tries to kill Sandy in the open ocean and is ultimately revealed to be the evil toxic waste dumper. An unbelievably evil character in other words.
So, the story is lacking, although the underwater photography featuring dolphins and also at least one hammerhead shark is pretty well done, and - to reiterate the strongest part of this movie - you have to like the family-friendliness of it.
Adults were reminded of the old movies and TV show and for nostalgia's sake took their kids to see it, who were excited because it was a movie about a dolphin and a stupid boy.
Unfortunately it wasn't what anyone expected and flopped severely. You know a movie's in trouble when a boy swims away from a Hammerhead shark in the middle of the ocean, and a pack of dolphins scare the shark away, and the kid -- instead of getting out of the water into a boat -- floats in the water for five minutes thanking his dolphin for saving him ... apparently he hasn't taken into mind that the shark is still out there, perhaps even below him.
Another problem is Paul Hogan. He looks old, crusty and tired of recycling his Croc Dundee shtick. By now, no one even remembered "Crocodile Dundee" much less Hogan, and I half expected him to suddenly start pretending he didn't know what a hair dryer was for the sake of fish-out-of-water/social-satire laughs.
All in all this is a really poor "family" movie that is amateurish and almost hard to watch at times. I hated it when I saw it in theaters back in '96 and I hate it more now.
As you can imagine FLIPPER plays out like all these other aquatic family movies . Boy doesn't get on with a family member , sea animal is oppressed by these nasty evil humans , boy and sea animal become the best of friends , boy finds love though happily not in the flippers of a sea creature , there's an environmental subplot etc . So in effect FLIPPER is no better or worse than any other movie of its ilk . You know how everything is going to work out before the end credits or even before the opening credits . The only thing of note is Paul Hogan who is fairly impressive in a straight role
For those who haven't already got enough of the FREE WILLY pictures, FLIPPER might serve up a decent rental. Others are (heavily) suggested to stay away. Although FLIPPER is harmless affair, it hardly showcases anything for the adult audience (unless it's your first time to see a dolphin).
A remake of a 1960's TV show and film, FLIPPER may have sound like a good idea back then: A dolphin charms the life of boy and a girl, they help ave the environment by first getting rid of toxic wastes thrown in on the sparkling waters of the Florida Keys, and at the same time, battle a shark and a salty sea baddie who happens to be the one responsible for the toxic dumping and also happens to hate dolphins. But even for the 90's, especially if an eerily similar film like FREE WILLY was a recent hit, FLIPPER is just another harmless yet occasionally empty summer splash movie for the kids. Although the animals (this, in case, is the main dolphin, a clumsy pelican and a realistic-looking hammerhead shark, typecast as the villain) and the pristine underwater cinematography steal the show, there's nothing much in FLIPPER to steal from anyway.
The story is completely predictable, something than nowadays even a 6-year old may find evident. The (Human) cast, led by a pre-LORD OF THE RINGS Elijah Wood and an out-of-work Paul Hogan, have rarely anything to do but stand around and look pretty. Their acting skills, whatever they may be to this movie, is rarely revealed on screen, unless you consider the "acting" talents of cheerful Bottlenose Dolphin. I guess not trying to recommend FLIPPER as mindless family entertainment won't be fair, but anyone over the age of 10 (No, make that 8), are better off renting or buying something else. Besides, the film is about 95 minutes tops. That might just give you enough time to something elsewhere without worrying about your kids. That alone might be worth the rental.
Rating: ** out of 5.