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‘The Water Man’ a Mystery Adventure




Review By John Delia

The Water Man is a very good film for teens, pre-teens and even the older folks who love a well written story that involves a mystery adventure. This one has excellent direction, superb performances and a script that rivals similar tales of determination to achieve a different result in the face of a grave illness. Now on Blu-ray and DVD it’s well worth the watch.

“In the town of Pine Mills, for generations, people have claimed to see a tall, shadowy figure emerging from a lake with fire on his chest and hope in his eyes…” writer Emma Needell

Lonnie Chavis as Gunner Boone in the adventure/drama film, THE WATER MAN, an RLJE films release. Photo courtesy of Karen Ballard.

Young Gunner Boone (Lonnie Chavis) dreams of being a detective some day and in the meantime he writes a story about a Police Chief that was killed and his ghost is trying to catch his killer. It’s more of a daydream however, that is until he happens upon free spirited teen Jo Riley (Amiah Miller). She is in the process of lecturing a group of the town’s kids for money in an abandoned warehouse. She talks to the group about the local myth The Water Man who can never die. Later he goes to the library and asks the librarian for any of the materials on the Water Man. He’s on a mission to find the recluse so he can get his magical yellow stone to cure his mother of cancer.

Determined to find the mythical man he solicits the help of Jo Riley and the two set out to the area called Wild Horse, his last known sighting. With journal by Jim Bussey (Alfred Molina), a local believer in the Water Man, the two adventurers head off to the nearby mountains. When Gunner and Joe get lost deep into the woods, they find danger all around. Director David Oyelowo, who also plays the part of Gunner’s father, moves his film along at a fast pace introducing his characters who each play a big part in the development of the storyline. Making his adventure both a mystery and an action film, he’s able to keep the audience compelled to the very end.

(L-R) Lonnie Chavis as Gunner Boone and Amiah Miller as Jo Riley in the adventure/drama film, THE WATER MAN, an RLJE films release. Photo courtesy of Karen Ballard.

When you deal with kids as your main characters, they either can make or break a film depending on how well they convince the audience. Here both Lonnie Chavis and Amiah Miller nail their roles and make the film work. Chavis has so much charisma that I had an immediate liking to his Gunner. He shows how he has been kept in the dark about his mother’s (Rosario Dawson) grave illness and he feels his strong willed father (David Oyelowo) tends to neglect him. His character has a lot to deal with in the film, and Chavis pulls it off.

Amiah Miller, as Jo Riley, gives an equally perfect performance as the young girl who uses the myth of the Water Man to get money from her audience of youngsters. A free spirit, she has a lot of spunk and grit. When Gunner pops up with a map and the journal from Bussey, she feels she may have hit the jackpot with this kid who’s a perfect mark for her scam. But, when caught in a dangerous situation, it’s her that reaches out to Gunner.

(L-R) Lonnie Chavis as Gunner Boone and David Oyelowo as Amos Boone in the adventure/drama film, THE WATER MAN, an RLJE films release. Photo courtesy of Karen Ballard.

The Water Man has been rated PG by the MPAA for thematic content, scary images, peril and some language. The movie shows best for a young and older audience that enjoys films like Stand by Me, The Gooneys, or even Toy Story for their adventures.

Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Lonnie Chavis, Rosario Dawson, David Oyelowo, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina, Maria Bello
Directed by: David Oyelowo
Written by: Emma Needell
Genre: Action, Adventure, Family, Drama
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hr. 32 min.
Video Release Date: August 17, 2021
Language: English
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Video: Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.39:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Distributed by: RLJE Entertainment
Released on: Blu-ray, DVD

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