Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 30th, 2007
In his December 30, 2007 column, Maine film critic Marty Meltz gives three and a half stars out a possible four to the new movie about the Loch Ness Monster.
Here are the highlights from that review:
In this, my farewell column for the Maine Sunday Telegram at the end of 30 years, it is gratifying that destiny has led me to review a superlative film like “The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep.”
Lovers of “E.T.,” “Free Willy” and “King Kong” will love this wonderful family fantasy film. Over the first half, it presents itself as simply a well-constructed story, but it then ascends rapidly to consuming suspense as its lovable but often scary monster comes under attack by heavy artillery.
* * *
Little Angus is charmingly filled out by director Jay Russell’s sensitive perceptions of a 9-year-old’s conflicts and urgencies, skillfully avoiding the sentimentalism buttons, even when the boy pines over his daddy, of whose death in the war he is not even aware.
The pompousness and presumptuousness of the military group set up the villain, even as the sympathetic victim, Crusoe, is given a charm and a fearsome quality all at once.
Faltering only a wee bit in a few low-energy scenes between crisis sequences, this is a masterful film that has a fine sense of its balance between old-timey themes and modern special effects. It fine-tunes with a mix of artistry and honesty of technique in just-plain storytelling, which is irresistibly appealing. For the complete review, go to “‘Water Horse’ a well-told fantasy.”
“THE WATER HORSE: LEGEND OF THE DEEP” ***1/2
DIRECTOR: Jay Russell
SCREENPLAY: Robert Nelson, based on the book by Dick King-
CAST: Emily Watson, Alex Etel, Ben Chaplin, David Morrissey
TIME: 1 hr., 51 min.
RATING: PG (large scale artillery action and monster scares)