Loch Ness

Starring: Ted Danson and Joely Richardson
RRP: 12.99
Certificate: PG
Available 14 March 2005

Dr Jonathan Dempsey is a curmudgeonly American scientist who heads to Scotland to prove once and for all that the Loch Ness monster does not exist. Armed with an array of gizmos designed to help him search out the dinosaur of the deep he comes up with nothing. Until a local schoolgirl shows him some evidence that even he cannot refute...

Loch Ness is a pretty enjoyable family movie - despite some rather obvious flaws. The whole movie rests on the audience wondering whether Ted Danson's character will end up finding Nessie. Sadly, the fact that the back of the DVD box states: "Creature effects by Jim Henson's Creature Shop" kind of spoils that.

The back of the DVD case also claims that this is presented in Dolby Surround. Sadly it isn't - instead being 2 channel stereo. This is a bit of crime really. How much more effort would it have been to include a 5.1 remix?

Danson and Joely Richardson do admirable jobs of making us believe in their characters. And I loved the fact that Danson was not afraid to bare his bald patch to the cameras. No, there's no trying to hide that he's going bald - very un-Hollywood, but very commendable.

Coronation Street fans will be amused to see Fred Elliott (John Savident) make a brief appearance in the closing scenes. Keith Allen also makes a couple of brief appearances as a nutter (what else?), but it is Ian Holm (as the Loch Keeper) and Kirsty Graham (Isabel Mary McFetridge) that make this movie all the more believable.

Going back to the creature for a moment. I've got to say that Jim Henson's Creature Shop must have been paid peanuts. The job they do is pretty poor. This film was released in 1996 - so it's not as though CGI wasn't widely used. They would have been better producing a Muppet style creature (like they did in the fantastic series The Storyteller) than creating a half baked CGI creature.

All in all though, this is still an entertaining movie which will keep the very young glued to the screen.

Amber Leigh

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