Film Review: Flipper (1996)

Rating: PG
Length: 1hr 35
Release: 2.8.1996
Dir: Alan Shapiro
About: Sandy is distraught when, having saved Flipper by pulling out a spear, his father insists the dolphin be released. A grateful Flipper, however, returns the favour when Sandy is threatened by sharks.

The Good

  • The strength is most definitely in the characters and the relationships. Both Paul Hogan and Elijah Wood are brilliant in their roles and bounce off each other and the supporting cast.
  • I love Marvin and I adore how Paul Hogan’s Porter describes him when Sandy asks what is wrong with the young boy. “He’s just shy.” Porter informs him before making sure Sandy knows Marvin’s strengths. I just love it. While it may seem as if Marvin is on the spectrum, I really like the way it’s handled.
  • I really laughed at the cigar sequence between Sandy and Porter. Mainly because my dad once told me that both him and my uncle had to do something similar.

The Bad

  • The plot is a little ropy. Well, not ropy as such. It’s shit. The reason for Sandy being there for the summer is shit. The toxic waste B-plot is shit. The using of the dolphin to locate said waste after him being brought back from the brink of death? shit.
  • “A man should never hurl in front of his woman!” Hogan says to Wood regarding his habit of getting sea sick and his crush on the teen love interest. 1. what the fuck, toxic masculinity much? 2. She’s not even where Hogan is nodding at seeing as she arrives in the next scene.

The Ugly

  • Did we need to see Hammerhead-Jaws eat the bird?! Like, it was a real bird and a real shark and totally the kind of shit that would make me turn off a nature programme.

Final Thoughts

While the location is a dream, and the leads are charming, the plot is very much a dud and as lifeless as the animatronic dolphins used.

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