The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep Reviews
It was a sweet Movie.
the effects are good,especially the baby nessie,looks very lifelike....as it grows up i didnt agree with the design of the creature....looks alittle bit too babyish but it is for kids i suppose.
great cast,great surroundings and as its set during WW1 u do get a nice old fashioned disney feel about the whole thing,like films of old,sweet.
very nice film,worth seeing.
The waterhorse is similar but a bit more varied in its "villian", using the glory hungry captain, but equally using the "hunter" of the troops as well as a bulldog named "Churchill".
Both films had the "eye of the child" point of view, which adds to a sense of wonder more in Waterhorse than I felt in Pan's. Both films made excellent use of CGI, as the Waterhorse's growth seemed seemless.
The failing of Waterhorse is that the stiff upper lip attitude of the mother didn't reveal enough of her trying to come to grips with the loss of her husband. If this had been brought more to the fore earlier, then the speach made by the handyman about giving the son a chance to be closer to his mother would have been more poignant.
Pan's of course is the darker film, as the Captain in its tale was truly evil, whereas in Waterhorse the "evil" was more simple charactor failings; hubris, greed, envy. So for all that, while it seems the lighter of the two, it is the more intimate.
I also enjoyed the "storytelling" aspect by Brian Cox, with that gleam in his eye, as well as the beginning scene showing a timeless town that could indeed be any age, except for the modern car that then drives down the cobblestoned street. This scene is repeated at the end of the film as another generation of Waterhorse is set to begin; but as the old saw says, "that's a tale for another time".
I think the trick is that this film is, not only set, but is produced in Europe. They somehow have an affinity for making superior films where American cinema would opt for formula and safe gimmicks.
Sure, this movie has its share of gag-inducing "boy-meets-creature-and-become-inseperable" moments; but the film doesn't dwell on the emotion too much.
The film is boued by solid performances by Emily Watson as a heartbroken widow; Ben Chaplin as a war hero; and David Morrissey as a domineering general whose heart is ultimately in the right place. Alex Etel is also great as the young boy whose father-figure complex is a tough subject for such a young actor to take on. His subtlety during flashback scenes is amazing and he captures the longing a child might feel for a long-lost parent.
But the star in this sweet creature-feature is the water horse himself. Named Crusoe, his development is amazing to watch (from egg-hatched, to cute mongrel, to regal king of his domain in the loch.
The CGI is pretty good for a movie with this small a budget. The interaction between young Angus (Etel) and Crusoe is seamless and, although not perfect, is good enough to create the illusion and possibly make you believe that this story could have possibly taken place in our reality.
There is a pretty brilliant subplot that involves impending attack from Nazi forces via submarines. This storyline really lends itself to the plot of the movie beautifully and, without it, the movie would drag and have nowhere to go but out to sea.
All in all, the film was pretty enjoyable. It has its share of touching, "aww" moments mixed with great visuals, a solid period piece tone and rock-solid acting.
Ultimately, the film's lesson is that of being happy with what you've got and stop longing for what you've lost. There is always beauty in pain and something precious and new always hatches from the shell of something that's been lost forever. [10JAN08]