Film reviews: Mercy of the lost explorer and secret King

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THE MERCY (12A)

The Mercy is a handsome but emotionally waterlogged dramatisation of the fateful journey of self-discovery of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst (Colin Firth), who vanished in 1969 during a round the world yacht race.

Director James Marsh captained The Theory Of Everything to Bafta and Oscar glory but he struggles to keep this real-life tragedy afloat.

The ramshackle script bobs between present and past, inserting flashbacks to happier times in Donald’s relationship with his wife (Rachel Weisz) as his sanity unravels in the claustrophobic confines of his boat.

Being lost at sea with Firth would be dream vacation for some people and the Oscar winner delivers a committed performance.

However, I struggled to tether an emotional connection to his tormented sailor and my interest went overboard before Crowhurst contemplates a shame-fuelled sacrificial plunge.

TAD THE LOST EXPLORER AND THE SECRET OF KING MIDAS (U)

The wisecracking, adventurous spirit of Indiana Jones runs amok in Spanish co-directors Enrique Gato and David Alonso’s computer-animated romp, which has been dubbed into English for undemanding viewers on this side of the English Channel.

Tad The Lost Explorer And The Secret Of King Midas is a gently effervescent sequel to a 2012 film, which was never released in the UK. Thankfully, our ignorance doesn’t impact greatly on mild enjoyment for Gato and Alonso’s fast-paced and freewheeling escapade.

The film is briskly paced at a whipcrack under 90 minutes and young children will be amused by the feud between a dog and bird, which culminates in the feathered fiend scrawling on the slumbering mutt’s face with permanent marker.

Regrettably, Gato and Alonso’s film doesn’t make the same indelible impression.