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The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 17-09-2010


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When a lonely young boy named Angus discovers a large, mysterious egg along the shores of Loch Ness, no one is prepared for what lies within. He soon discovers that the strange, mischievous hatchling inside is none other than The Water Horse, the loch’s most mysterious and fabled creature! But with the Water Horse growing ten times its size every day, Angus finds it increasingly difficult to keep his new friend a secret. Two-time Academy Award(r) nominee Emily Watso… More >>

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

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The legend is only one water horse lives per generation. When the old one is ready to die, they lay an egg from which the new water horse is hatched and must grow up on its own as an orphan.

In this case, a young boy named Angus McMurrow found the egg and helped the waterhorse hatch and grow. That’s not a mean feat, considering this is World War II and a cadre of British soldiers are staying in the manor house where Angus’ family lives. But if any kid is in need of a friend, it’s Angus. You see, his father went off to war–and Angus still believes he’s going to come back despite being told to the contrary. Angus finds a surprising ally in Lewis Mowbray (Ben Chaplin), a returning soldier who still believes in the old myths and is in need of a dream as much as Angus is.

Of course, the complication is the British soldiers led by a toff commander who’s noble father probably stuck him in Scotland to keep him out of the action. They think that the Germans are going to come down Loch Ness and they’ve got the guns and ammo to take care of the problem if they do. Not a healthy environment for a baby water horse to grow up in…

“Water Horse” is beautifully filmed. It captures the rugged beauty of Scotland amazingly. The soundtrack, by James Newton Howard (of Toto fame and too many soundtracks to name) is gorgeous. The music is perfect–as always.


Kids younger than five had problems with some of the scenes and a couple had to escort their frightened parents out into the lobby

Rating: 4 / 5

Crossing a tale between an explanation of the fabled Loch Ness Monster with the backdrop of World War II, `Deep Water Horse’ comes across as `Pan’s Labyrinth’ for children. Full of whimsy and brimming with innocence, the movie is a harbor for the imagination.

Taking place in Scotland where the legend of Loch Ness has allegedly been spotted, an elderly man engages a couple at the local pub where he relates a fabled adventure of the past. Transporting us in the narrative to 1942, Angus MacMorrow examines some “magical shells” around Loch Ness to collect and take home. His father has been absent from The War for about a year now. Angus (perfectly cast as Alex Etel of `Millions’ fame) spots one and takes it home to his father’s workshop where he tries to pry through its exterior to find dazzling layers beneath. Being called away, it is a short time later that noise in the shop alerts him of some new development. Angus to his astonishment sees a creature waddling on the floor of his father’s shop. Looking much like a cross between a seal and a platypus, the awkward young thing soon takes a liking to Angus who feeds it and makes some space for him in a bucket of water.

The trouble is Crusoe, as he soon names him, grows very quickly. Trying futilely to keep him from his sister, Anne (Emily Watson), his mother (Lorraine McDonald), and a newly hired hand, Lewis (Ben Chaplin), he, nevertheless, puts him in the bathtub. Soon everyone except his mother is in on the secret, but once he grows too big, it is apparent he must let him go back to the water to accommodate his amphibious nature.

Enter the Scottish army. While they laudably provided for the Allies, they do make life uncomfortable for Angus and will soon do so for Crusoe when they find his presence in Loch Ness. Captain Hamilton (David Morrissey) is a reassuring presence for his mother, who certainly could use a man around the house, but the changes are certainly unsettling for Angus, who needs Crusoe as a reassuring outlet and companion. Crusoe is a nice escape for a boy who misses his father and must deal with a surrogate who knows little more than to say, “The boy needs more discipline.” (In this way I saw the closest parallel to Pan’s Labyrinth.)

The scenes when Angus rides and befriends Crusoe are a highlight of the film, and the playful voyage is filled with nifty special effects. Some of the chase scenes in the harbor and around the house keep a playful spirit to the adventure. Like ‘Stardust’ and ‘Enchanted’ before it, ‘Water Horse’ is an entertaining and fun ride. While some of the elements borrow a bit from the classic ‘E.T.,’ this film is original and transporting enough in its own right. (Based on the book by Dick King-Smith)
Rating: 4 / 5

If this film had been made in 1980 like E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial (Widescreen Edition),throngs would be going to see it; but alas the cynicism of a jaded 2008 audience will relegate this film to a “good family flick” because of the lack of cussing,sex and violence.Jay Russell has always known how to construct a good film and he has always hand-picked the very best in the business to be on his crew;”The Water Horse: The Legend of the Deep” is one such film,eye-catching,sensitive,beautifully formed narrative,gorgeous cinematography and lighting and superb performances from the likes of Emily Watson,Ben Chaplin, Brian Cox and a talented newcomer Alex Etel shouldering the majority of this film.There is an enormous amount of the finest of cast and crew available to the film industry that has assembled this outstanding movie.

Special kudos go to the art department and model-people who constructed the Loch Ness Monster,Crusoe, who comes off as real as any human actor in this picture.The underwater photo sequences are brilliant, and the editing is first rate,capturing the ride that Crusoe gives his young friend,Angus.

As far as plot,it is 1940 Scotland,WW2 is raging,British troops are engaged and young Angus’ father has gone to War leaving him as a quiet,lonely child along with his Mother (Emily Watson) and older sister (odd name which I missed!).The British troops garrison the home as a lookout for German U-boats entering Loch Ness.At this time, Angus, finds an odd “egg” buried in the stones of the shoreline.Lo,it cracks open,and this engaging little sea creature of sorts appears;he is adorable.Angus names him Crusoe, and attempts to raise him with no one knowing.Crusoe thinks that little Angus is his Father and looks to him for food. This is where the fun really begins in this film.Up to this point, things have moved rather slowly to set up all that is to come.Now, the story breaks wide open to everyone’s delight.It impossible to not remember other sea creature films such as Triple Feature: Free Willy/Free Willy 2 – The Adventure Home/Free Willy 3 – The Rescue and Flipper,but neither of those films can compare in breadth to “The Water Horse.”

James Newton Howard’s soundtrack, by Richard Lancaster and Andrew Kitchen,top film score actualizers,along with the vocal assistance of Sinead O’Connor and the Celtic Wonders,”The Chieftains”, make this a complete and satisfying adventure.If you relegate this film to “family status” you will do yourself an adult injustice.A
Rating: 5 / 5

What makes a movie 5 star?

Is it an intertesting storyline? Is it well written? Great directing? Wonderful actors? Great casting? Beautiful scenery?

Or does it have drama? Supsense? Or a movie that stirs your emotions? A movie that makes you say “Wow, I really enjoyed that!”?

Well, the Water Horse has all these elements. The story of a young boy and a mysterious egg that hatches into a legendary monster.

This movie is worth buying and watching for years to come. A movie for the whole family; adults and children alike can enjoy. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed it. One of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. You’ll treasure this DVD.
Rating: 5 / 5

Director Jay Russell knows how to put a film together,there’s no doubt about that;his films comtain some wonderful and reliable crew,notably Tony Burrough whose set design is, as per usual magnificent; and the uncredited lighting expert,Dick Pope,whom we, in the film industry,seek to emulate.”The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep” is really at it’s core an adult film;children will love and laugh at the sea creature in all his stages of development;and they will cheer for him as eludes those who wish to harm him as he attempts to leave the Loch;but with it’s theme of Royal British Navy occupying Highlands Scotland during World War 2 and the danger of German U-boats invading the Loch,”The Water Horse” lands solidly on adult ground for deepest understanding of the back story.

As an adult,I was charmed and delighted with Jay Russell’s latest gem;after My Dog Skip and Tuck Everlasting, Russell takes us to Scotland Lochs and New Zealand to recreate the story of the Loch Ness Monster Fable and his “father”, the lonely Angus, who keenly feels the loss of his own Father to the War effort.Angus discovers the egg that hatches,names the creature Crusoe, and attempts to raise him as a parent would raise his own child.In fact, this really is the theme of the picture: losing a parent and growing up,and being a parent and letting go.

It was refreshing to see Ben Chaplin as the handyman speaking in a perfectly clipped Highland Brogue.The radiant as ever Emily Watson plays the mother.Alex Etel, though,portrays the young Angus with true heart.a hallmark of all of Jay Russell’s films.He finds a wonderful child actor,then touches the child in all of us.

No child can stay at home forever, and no monster “can live in a toilet bowl forever.” A very compelling and beautifully visual film.
Rating: 5 / 5

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