(Editor’s note: try reading this review aloud with a scottish accent)
The Water Horse was a movie I had wanted to see for ages now. It looked cute, genuinely scottish and with a lot of potential. Unfortunately, once the movie was over, I was filled with nothing but laughs at a flimsily executed world in an anachronistic era with piss-poor child actors – laughs which I promtly let loose on the world with the help of a “Don’t shake your baby” infomercial. What a bummer, lads. What a bummer.
Crrrrrrruusoe! Din run aweigh laddeh!
As soon as the movie starts off, you’re treated with some very nice, authentic sounding Scottish accents, accents which usually get on my nerves. This time was not an exception: the accents were so repetitive and the intonation so boring, I eyerolled every time the little lad said “Crusoe” (the name of his beloved water horse). I know Scottish people don’t actually talk in a boring and repetitive tone, so this can only mean one other thing: bad acting.
Yes, it is safe to say that there is only one good actor in the entire bunch of Scottish sounding geezers, and that is Nessy him/herself. Baptised Crusoe (after Robinson – why they didn’t pick “Robin” is beyond me; “Crusoe” in Scottish accent sounds like throwing up), she/he never ceased to impress. The little version is just awesomely cute, while the older version feels like that old tiger that never forgets. I’m seriously impressed they achieved to bring Crusoe to life, and nail it. Unfortunately, every human being that comes within three hundred meters of said beast is affected by the “horrible acting” curse. Because, you know, big creatures tend to do that to people.
What else is there to say?
I really, truly wish it wasn’t so. I really wanted to like this movie. It’s bound to be slightly silly – we’re talking the Loch Ness monster in a toilet here – but I wanted it to be… magical. And magical, it just isn’t. The actors aren’t there. The believability isn’t there. Those “present day” scenes in which the old drunk talks about his good times with the Loch Ness Monster are just corny. The whole “Loch Ness and World War II” plotline is a nice find – and the era set-up surely is credible enough – but it’s entirely ruined the moment history is attempted a recreation by mimicing the making of the famous Loch Ness Monster picture, a picture taken in the thirties. Seriously. How do you let that happen?
There are hundreds of things wrong with The Water Horse. Thankfully, the water horse itself is not one of them. If you want to see a cute creature that looks real enough and acts like a champ, you should see this movie. If you’re hoping to see anything else, just move along. Maybe you’re thinking I’m being hard on a kid-oriented movie, and I’m sure I am. But I enjoy kid’s movies. I just think all that money should’ve gone to making an actual quality movie about said monster. I don’t think it’s that hard, Laddeh.
P.S.: Once again, obvious anachronisms in movies should not happen – especially if your “making of” featurette reveals the mistake!!