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Mee-Shee the Water Giant


Stars: Bruce Greenwood, Daniel Magder, Luanne Gordon, Tom Jackson, Phyllida Law, Joel Tobeck, Rena Owen

Director: John Henderson

A very old-fashioned children's story in which the homicidal villains aren't even allowed to swear. 'Sugar!' is the worst they can muster. Slow to develop, the yarn does eventually have some very good monsters, courtesy of the Jim Henson Creature Shop, that look like enormous prehistoric walruses with a touch of hippo thrown in.

Father and 10-year-old son (Greenwood, Magder) head for a deep, deep Canadian lake to retrieve an oil drillhead that has ended up at the bottom. The introduction to their Native Canadian guide gives rise to the film's only snappy exchange of dialogue. 'Custer?' asks an incredulous Greenwood. 'That's a hell of name for an Indian. 'Well,' replies Custer (Jackson), 'my father had a hell of a sense of humour.'

Anyway, the bad guys are after the drillhead, and Mee-Shee too, once it becomes apparent that the local legend is all too real.

It's very simple fare that six- to 10-year-old girls not scared of friendly monsters will enjoy. Director Henderson obviously has a taste for watery weirdies since he also made Loch Ness. But why this film is set in Canada when it's clearly made in New Zealand - and half the cast have Anzac accents - is a mystery more baffling than the 'water giants' themselves.

David Quinlan

UK/Germany/New Zealand 2005. UK Distributor: The Works. Colour.
94 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 12 Aug 2007