FLIPPER is a very appealing modern day sequel to the popular “Flipper” feature films and TV series of the 1960’s. It all starts when 14-year-old Sandy Ricks (Elijah Wood) arrives on a small Florida Keys island for a summer with his ex-hippie uncle, Peter Ricks (Paul Hogan). Sandy doesn’t like the idea at all, but his mother thinks it would do him good. Further, his Uncle Porter is a strict disciplinarian, but has a great sense of humor and love for the boy. Things get a lot more fun when a very lovable dolphin takes a liking to Sandy and becomes his faithful companion. Also, an endearing young teenager, Kim (Jessica Wesson), becomes his good friend. But trouble sets in when a cruel boat captain is determined to eliminate Flipper and other dolphins which he says are ruining the fishing in the area. Porter and Sandy fight back to protect Flipper as well as expose the evil deeds of the Captain. FLIPPER has plenty of suspense, action and love interests which will appeal to young and old alike. It also features gorgeous photography of the lush island and shots of dolphins swimming and doing acrobatics in the clear blue waters. Kids in the audience cheered and clapped their approval when this touching, adventurous story came to an end.
Just enough questionable elements have been added to this delightful film to avoid a G rating. Four mild and moderately crude words are included in the dialogue along with two moderately rough obscenities. Even though Porter and a likable lady marine biologist (Chelsea Field) are attracted to each other, they do not become sexually involved. Porter puts Sandy to work and does his best to help him develop responsibility, but always with a humorous, loving spirit. Eventually, Sandy’s obstinacy turns into love and admiration for his uncle. Sandy even helps a young, withdrawn boy (Jason Fuchs) develop self-esteem. Some threats from sharks and a yacht running over a small boat provide excitement, but no one is injured. Other incidents include Porter striking the evil Captain and dolphins knocking men into the water. Happily, FLIPPER is one of the more decent, satisfying films released so far this year.