Working time: 92 minutes. Rated PG (mature themes). In theaters.
Actor David Oyelowo’s debut as a director, “The Water Man,” is a really good film that’s lots like a bunch of different very good motion pictures.
Gunner’s mother (Rosario Dawson) is dying of most cancers, and the awkward younger bookworm is decided to save lots of her. So he borrows all the things written on leukemia from the library and asks her physician to prescribe totally different meds.
Nothing works, however then Gunner (Lonnie Chavis) hears the legend of the Water Man, a neighborhood fable a few man who miraculously awoke after drowning solely to develop into immortal. He’s mentioned to stay within the forest on the sting of city, consistently looking out the river for his useless spouse.
Gunner hatches a scheme to search out the Water Man and study the key to eternal life, so his mom could be cured. He runs away, and his apprehensive pop (Oyelowo), who he has an up-and-down relationship with, feverishly searches for him.
Watching the pleasant-enough movie, I considered Natalie Babbitt’s novel “Tuck Eternal,” a few woodland household that doesn’t age. Patrick Ness’ e book “A Monster Calls,” which is the story of a boy who’s visited within the evening by a beast whereas his mom is dying of most cancers, additionally popped in.
Neither of these are the Mona Lisa of young-adult fiction, however each forged a spell with an otherworldly ambiance and deep emotional funding. “Water Man” is comparable, but watered down.
One other recognizable trope is the teenager woman who helps Gunner try to search out the creature. Her identify is Jo (Amiah Miller), and he or she has blue-green hair and a “cross me and I’ll punch you” character. Characters like Jo are the brand new manic-pixie dream woman — let’s name them the maddened, bitchy goth woman. They nonetheless exist as sherpas for misplaced males, however they’re not so flirty anymore.
The perfect a part of “Water Man” is Gunner’s frayed relationship along with his father, sensitively performed by Oyelowo. He needs his child to play baseball, not learn and draw cartoons. He thinks Lonnie’s flights of fancy are stressing out mother, and due to this fact exacerbating her sickness. However when Gunner runs away to the woods, he finds a brand new appreciation for his child.
Off-screen, Oyelowo strikes the digicam elegantly, and he creates a number of cool moments within the woods. There’s a shock stampede of horses and a waterfall of beetles. Nevertheless, not like its title character, “The Water Man” gained’t endure perpetually.