As Gunner and his family, which includes his mother Mary Boone (Rosario Dawson) and father Amos Boone (David Oyelowo), are doing their best to adjust to a new rural town, he doesn’t want to leave a stone unturned to help his seriously ill mother. to have another chance at life. Sensitive and extremely creative, the teen is working on his first graphic novel on a subject that’s cool. From visiting cemeteries to reading mystery novels to reading books at the local library, Gunner does everything he can to make his novel as real as possible. It is also a way for the Gunner to escape the harsh realities of life. While his father Amos is doing his best to come to terms with his wife’s health and at the same time dealing with a teenage son, it ultimately puts all the stress on the father-son relationship. During the course of events, Amos accidentally spills black ink on Gunner’s ongoing graphic novel, further straining their relationship. While researching for his novel, he meets Jo, who talks about her encounter with urban legend The Water Man. After jotting down a map of the exact location of the legend’s whereabouts via Jim Bussey (Alfred Molina), who wrote the original book about The Water Man, Gunner and Jo soon begin their journey to find the ultimate elixir.
Actor David Oyelowo, who is also the film’s director, has done a good job. His directorial debut, which focuses on children’s fantasy drama, also cleverly combines the supernatural touch. While the movie is about the pain and grief of losing someone, David is not shy about showing these emotions in the crudest of ways, leading to honest conversations between the characters. In one scene, Gunner advises his mother’s medical assistant to change medications. Jo and Gunner’s chemistry is that of two teenagers: one desperately needs to find a solution and the other is on the run from her abusive father. Sadly, Jo’s life trajectory did not receive as much attention as it deserved. The way the dense forests have been shown looks fabulous; the spooky darkness, crystal clear water, and lush greenery look good. Each actor has done a commendable job. However, surely we would have loved to see more of Mario Bello playing the honest and fair Sheriff Goodwin.
Lonnie Chavis as the conflicted teenager Gunner has made sure people take notice of his engaging acting skills. The film’s powerful message of finding a sense of hope when everything around you is dark will strike a chord with audiences, especially in the trying times we collectively face.