The Water Man feels a little watered-down even by the standards of its genre, with somewhat less heft than the old Hallmark Hall of Fame movies, which created a classy environment to sell greeting cards woven into the drama.
Actor David Oyelowo makes a heartfelt directing debut in a PG adventure about a boy (Lonnie Chavez) in search of a mythic creature who might save his dying mother. Even when the pace drags, the film is a gift for family audiences.
The actor's directorial career is certainly off to a clean-lined, competent start. But it's hard to shake the feeling that this is the sort of film that fond parents wish their children would love, as opposed to a film their children actually will love.
It's a tricky balancing act to take an audience from a terminally-ill mom to an avalanche of insects, but director David Oyelowo (working from Emma Needell's Black List screenplay) gets all the tones just right.