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The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep
3 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Jay Russell

Written By:
Robert Nelson Jacobs, Dick King-Smith

Brian Cox, Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin, David Morrissey, Craig Hall, Joel Tobeck, Alex Etel, Marshall Napier, Adam Smith, Forbes KB, Geraldine Brophy, Jessica Kaczorowski, Erroll Shand, Mathew Kaczorowski, Priyanka Xi

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (2007)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
January 1st, 2008

'The Water Horse' is a charming and delightful family flick built around the legend of the Loch Ness monster, which supposedly resides in a Scottish lake. This film explores how it got there, but not exactly where it came from, and initially, I thought I was seeing a rehash of Eragon, as a young boy finds a mysterious egg that spawns a bizarre creature. Of course, this creature is not a dragon, but something else, and it doubles in size almost daily, but is kind and gentle, much like E.T., and that was another movie I was reminded of as I watched this. Angus (Alex Etel) discovers the egg and the creature inside of it. He names it Crusoe, and attempts to hide it from his mother, Anne (Emily Watson), who is stern but loving. Angus's father is away fighting in WWII, and, of course, never comes home, which makes things more difficult for Anne, who is trying to raise Angus and his sister, Kirstie (Priyanka Xi) on her own, though she does get some help from Lewis (Ben Chaplin), who does outside chores and the like, things that Anne's husband would be doing. Lewis is also a nice guy, who befriends both Angus and Kirstie, and even keeps Crusoe a secret, the best he and Angus can, as the thing grows bigger and bigger. David Morrissey is Capt. Hamilton, leader of a British unit scouring the area for German U-boats.

It should come as no surprise that Hamilton and his men will prove a threat to Crusoe, if they discover him. Angus eventually has to hide Crusoe in Loch Ness, which is not the safest place for him to be. The creature itself is a wonderful CGI creation, and is seamlessly integrated into the story. Alex Etel, a very good young actor who made in his debut in a terrific little movie called Millions (from 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle) lights up the screen here, cute but incredibly sincere. Watson and Chaplin both shine in the major adult roles; Morrissey doesn't fit in that well, I am not sure his character is entirely necessary, but there has to be some kind of danger to Crusoe, and someone who develops a romantic interest in Anne, and could potentially spar with Lewis for her affections. The film is predictable, to say the least, but it has a solid pedigree, with Jay Russell responsible for My Dog Skip, Etel from Millions, and a script adapted from a novel by the author of Babe, which was a favorite of mine about a decade ago. There are efforts at comedy that fail, but the premise is original, and there are few who could seriously dislike the movie, despite its flaws.

Kids will be entranced, adults will be entertained, perfectly wholesome viewing for most any audience, and I liked the fact that it never overused its special effects, and that it doesn't even have an excessive amount of them, like The Golden Compass, but that was a big-budget fantasy adventure, this film is more modest and less focused on action. There are no epic battle scenes here, and there is no need for them in the first place. Now, I could continue comparisons with The Neverending Story or Free Willy, but that would not be entirely fair; 'The Water Horse' stands up well on its own terms.

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Zombie Boy
Jan 1, 2008 8:54 PM
also wrote a review of The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep
Also, the modern-day Angus was played by the original Hannibal Lecter, Brian Cox. That was a treat.

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