Magic In The Water
Dr. Jack Black (Mark Harmon) is a psychiatrist with a radio talk show in Seattle. He’s a very busy fellow, but his ex-wife insists he take his 12 year old son, Joshua (Joshua Jackson), and 10 year old daughter, Ashley (Sarah Wayne), on a camping trip. So the three take off to a resort lake in British Columbia. Upon arrival, they hear talk about an underwater monster named Orky who inhabits the lake. A local therapist, Dr. Wanda Bell (Harley Jane Kozak), even conducts sessions for persons disturbed by the monster, some of whom claim the monster’s spirit inhabits their bodies. Others say the monster changes into a human being at times. One day, Ashley sees signs of the monster in the water and an ailing old Indian chief lends his assistance to Ashley and Joshua in searching for the monster. Needless to say, all this mystery is good for the tourist businesses, and some evil lake polluters even use Orky to divert attention from their nefarious deeds. MAGIC IN THE WATER has beautiful scenery and some funny incidents to go along with its adventures. It is not quite up to the quality and entertainment appeal of most Disney films, but it has its share of suspense and intrigue.
Although Jack doesn’t pay much attention to his two children, he does care for them and is concerned about their safety. When Ashley gets lost and stranded in a very tall tree house, he rescues her by having her jump into his arms. And when his two children get trapped in a fake monster boat which has sunk, he searches for them frantically.In the therapy class, it isn’t clear whether the spirit of the monster really has invaded the bodies of some as they claim, or whether it’s just their imaginings. But the old Indican chief seriously tries to evoke spirits to help Ashley and Joshua track down the monster. This is simply portrayed as being his religious beliefs and it is not given any particular credence. As is usually the case with PG films, a few obscenities and profanities are spoken, probably to avoid a G rating. Also, in an offensive suggestive comment, Ashley suggests that one of the young boys has been “playing with himself.” All these unfortunate elements are just enough to significantly mar this otherwise decent film.