Michael Sauter
October 11, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Poor Flipper. In a summer of big-event movies, his relatively tame adventures got left in the wake. Resurfacing on the small screen, this former TV star seems much more at home. Not that he isn’t still larger than life. Indeed, while hanging out with an old salt (Paul Hogan) and his nephew (Elijah Wood), Flipper sometimes comes off like a wonder dolphin (check out the way he operates an underwater camera). But then, consider his outsize adversary: a sneering, snarling villain (Jonathan Banks) who dumps toxic waste and shoots dolphins on sight. Younger viewers may be saddened when one of Flipper’s kin catches a bullet early on. But after that it’s pretty clear sailing, against a Bahamian backdrop that, even on video, looks more inviting than the old TV show ever did. B-

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