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BLUE CRUSH, 2002
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  MOVIE POSTER BLUE CRUSH, 2002
Movie Reviews

Directed by: John Stockwell

Starring: Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis, Sanoe Lake, Mika Boorem

Review by Travis Seppala

SYNOPSIS:

One time surfing champion Anne Marie trains hard with her roommates and sister for the upcoming Pipe Masters surfing competition and nothing can stand in her way... except her own fears of the past. When she meets NFL quarterback Matt, she becomes simultaneously closer to and further away from surfing. REVIEW:

I really enjoyed “Soul Surfer”, the inspirational true story of champion female surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost an arm in a shark attack while practicing her surfing skills, and even with the huge handicap went on to surf fantastically and win more gold. I was hoping that “Blue Crush” would bring more of the same. Unfortunately, those hopes were crushed (no pun intended) early on.

Anne Marie was one of the top amateur surfers around as a teenage, but three years ago had a bad wipe out which resulted in her almost drowning. The memories of going under and hitting her head on a rock keep coming to her in the form of frightening flashbacks which keep her from taking big risks and big waves. Her hope is to push past those fears to compete in the Pipe Masters surfing competition at world renowned surfing spot, Pipeline. She's been training hard with the help of her friends Lena and Eden and sister Penny (who all live with Anne Marie in a beach shack), and thinks she's about ready for the contest (other than her re-occurring fear which keeps causing her to bail on impressive waves).

At the hotel where Anne Marie, Lena and Eden work as housekeepers, they meet a group of NFL football players who are in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. Anne Marie gives one of the players an earful after he left his hotel room a mess (complete with vomit all over the bathroom and a used condom on the floor) and is promptly fired. Feeling bad about the situation (and being very attracted to Anne Marie), quarterback Matt Tollman offers to make it up to her by hiring Anne Marie and her friends to teach him and his teammates how to surf. Needing the money, the girls accept.

During surfing lessons, Anne Marie and Matt become close and start a romance, much to the disapproval of Eden who insists Anne Marie doesn't have time for a boy when she needs to be training for the coming competition. Feeling nagged, Anne Marie shows Eden extra effort by going out to some big waves, but her re-occurring fears cause her to wipe out and get battered by the waves. Eden blames the fault on all the time Anne Marie has been spending with Matt and won't give Anne Marie a break. Anne Marie finally announces that she quits and will not be competing.

Everything begins to rapidly fall apart for Anne Marie: her fears keeping her from attempting to surf the big waves with the Pipe Masters quickly approaching; her friendship with Eden on the rocky ground; her sister Penny rebelling and becoming a partying wild child who flirts with older boys; finding out about Matt's past of “slumming it up” with attractive girls of lower financial standing (such as herself and a Denny's waitress). Through all this, she desperately tries to find the strength to pull it together and compete.

“Blue Crush” stars several people who have no acting talent what so ever! Michelle Rodriguez is the best thing about this movie, and even her acting feels forced here compared to other roles she's played. Kate Bosworth is a stale piece of cardboard proving that she's not just a terrible Lois Lane, but a terrible actor in general. Other actors in this film include several real life champion surfers (even having one in the lead role of Lena)... terrible casting choice as none of them have any talent. What I'm trying to say here, in case it wasn't clear, is that the acting in this film is absolutely horrendous and I hope whoever the casting director for this film was got fired immediately after the first screening.

The story was dull and predictable. I was hoping for something inspirational (surfer who had a bad wipe out years ago must now overcome her fears to surf again and take home the championship) with a side of romance. What I got was a high school grade romance on a beach with mounting drama between friends and family and a LOT of wipe outs. And after re-reading that last sentence, I realize that from that description it sounds like “Blue Crush” is a decent film. Sadly, I'm making it sound much better than it really is.

The music in this film was decent, but poorly placed. Do I like P.O.D.'s “Youth of the Nation”? Absolutely. Does it make a good in-your-face soundtrack for some killer surfing sequences? Not really, but that didn't stop the music director from making it happen.

There is one good thing about this movie, and it's actually a fantastic thing. The cinematography in this film is absolutely MIND BLOWING! The camera work in “Blue Crush” is a beautiful thing to watch and it takes a lot of cool risks that really paid off, especially in the surfing sequences. My hat is off to camera department of this film, because there was just some truly wild, jaw dropping sequences here that made this movie gorgeous to look at (even if it was a pain to watch!)

Sadly, great camera work in a horrible film still ends up with a horrible film.

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BLUE CRUSH, 2002