“Life’s a beach, especially if you want to surf more than the Internet.”
The marketeers screwed up: aimed at teenage girls, our daughter refused to see it, on the grounds – Hollywood, please note – that their bikini tops and bottoms didn’t match in the poster… Anyway: Anne Marie (Bosworth) sees her ticket to stardom in a surf competition on Hawaii’s North Shore. But she has to come to terms with waves bigger than she’s ever faced before; a rebellious kid sister (Boorem); a dreadful job as a hotel maid; and, inevitably, the guy who wants to spend quality time with her on dry land (Davis), while her friend Eden (Rodriguez) tries to keep her focussed on surfing.
We’re firmly behind Eden on this one, since it’s only in the water that the film comes alive. Much credit to cinematographer David Hennings, who does an excellent job of capturing the power and intensity found in the unfettered ocean. The film needs this, as otherwise, there’s not much in the way of conflict – everyone turns out to be nice, even Anne Marie’s rivals in the surfing contest.
As is, it’s not bad, just easily predictable: maybe they should have tossed in a shark, or a giant octopus, or something, simply to spice things up a bit. A slight romance and flashbacks about a bang on the head are well short of realising the potential to be found in the magnificent Pacific setting. While there’s hardly anything new in its painfully obvious storyline, it will certainly inspire new respect, both for the sea, and those who challenge it armed with little more than a plank.
Dir: John Stockwell
Star: Kate Bosworth, Matthew Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Mika Boorem