The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

Film, Family and kids
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

There’s backbone to spare in this superior family film aimed at the type of kids who like a wee splash of Scotch on their cornflakes. The classic ‘Free Willy’ animal/child union-of-souls template is neatly transposed (with added grit) to the Highlands circa World War II, where young Angus MacMorrow (Alex Etel, last seen in Danny Boyle’s ‘Millions’) discovers a crystalline egg on a local beach.

What hatches is a cutesy dragon-like creature he names Crusoe that rapidly expands to the size of a lorry and has to be re-housed in the local loch. When a platoon of soldiers stationed in Angus’s home mistake Crusoe for an enemy sub, this pleasingly non-ironic yarn expands into an angry window on the brutal, inflexible nature of the military. But what pushes the film above its peers is the way that director Jay Russell – like Spielberg – only resorts to syrup when he can fully justify it.

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Details

Release details

Rated:
PG
Release date:
Friday February 8 2008
Duration:
111 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Jay Russell
Screenwriter:
Robert Nelson Jacobs
Cast:
Emily Watson
Ben Chaplin
Alex Etel
Brian Cox
David Morrissey