Loch Ness is an A-budget attempt to delve into the legend. Needless to say, Loch Ness would never have emerged had it not been for the success of Jurassic Park (1993). Loch Ness seeks to follow in Jurassic Parks pawprints in all ways it is a dinosaur film; it takes a sympathetic, environmentally-conscious attitude toward its monster; and it harnesses top-drawer CGI technology toward the presentation of its creature. [It was followed a few years later by a further attempt to create a CGI Loch Ness monster film with The Water Horse (2007)].
And Loch Ness is also no good. Where Jurassic Park offered breathlessly spectacular dinosaur sequences, Loch Ness substitutes romance. In fact, the romance between Ted Danson and Joely Richardson is at the forefront of the film there is more time spent on this than there is on the Loch Ness monster. When it comes to the monster, the films premise is an obvious one the only issue Loch Ness has on offer is Is it going to provide a monster or not? and that is an answer that is surely already provided by anyone observant enough to look at the films poster and see the companies listed for Creature and Visual Effects. When the film does get around to providing Loch Ness monsters, they are incredible disappointing. Technically, they are impressive what we see of them, they appear incredibly lifelike. However, they only appear on screen for a single scene and then briefly seen swimming underwater at the very end. The total time given over to their appearance would be under two minutes a huge disappointment upon the films promise.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of Loch Ness is its failure of spirit. It is a halfway reasonable film right up until the ending. There it runs away from dealing with any of the questions raised and proceeds to hide behind a trendy endangered species message. The happy ending wrap up with Ted Danson throwing everything away and allowing himself to become a laughing stock and returning to Joely Richardsons arms is utterly frustrating in its sheer niceness. The scripts resorting to cliches about protecting the monster from the probing scalpels of science is ultimately a shrill moral message and an intellectually conservative stance after all, the majority of endangered species in the world are ones whose existence is strongly advocated by concerned scientists and environmentalists, not seen as an opportunity to dissect them.
Director John Henderson began as a writer and then director on British comedy shows such as Not the Nine OClock News, Spitting Image and Sticky Moments. He directed various fantasy-related tv mini-series and movies such as The Borrowers (1993), Jack and the Beanstalk (1998), Alice Through the Looking Glass (1998), The Magical Land of the Leprechauns (1999), the Comic Relief spoof special Doctor Who and the Curse of the Fatal Death (1999), the space opera tv comedy Hyperdrive (2006-7) and the talking animals adventure Tales of the Riverbank (2008). Henderson returned to the subject of endangered monsters with the film Me-Shee: The Water Giant (2005).