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Blue Crush (PG-13)
Universal Studios
Official Site
Director: John Stockwell
Producers: Brian Grazer, Karen Kehela
Written by: Lizzy Weiss and John Stockwell
Cast: Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis, Sanoe Lake


Your eyes will love Blue Crush. Your ears will loathe it.

The reason for this war of the senses is that on a visual level, the film is breathtaking. It's almost IMAX-ean in the way it throws you into the middle of towering waves and allows you to linger there, enabling you to savor the same sort of adrenaline rush that those surfing the titanic walls of water experience. The cinematography is beautiful, and so are the people—in essence, Blue Crush screams summer movie from its every pore.

This is more than enough to make up for the goofy conversations that your cinema-sharpened ears will have to endure. No doubt you've heard the same sort of trite, "go for your dreams" dialogue about a thousand times before, but don't be foolish enough to let that stop you from enjoying such a viscerally electrifying film. Blue Crush doesn't market itself as anything but a good time, and on that level, it more than delivers.

Unlike films such as Point Break, which use surfing as a backdrop in an otherwise overwrought story, Blue Crush recognizes that surfing is its main story. One has to wish, though, that director Stockwell and screenwriter Weiss would have maintained more confidence in the primary plot.

The film should have been content to follow lead character Anne Marie (Bosworth) as she trains, and eventually competes, in the Pipe Masters, a high-profile surfing competition on the North Shore of Oahu. Instead, Blue Crush falls victim to various clichés, needlessly peppered throughout the story. The superfluous plot devices include Anne Marie's absentee mother and rebellious sister; her combative relationship with ex-flame Drew; and her newfound romance with a star quarterback (Davis) who is staying at the luxury hotel where she works as a maid.

It's understandable that the writers would seek to make the character more well-rounded, but let's get real. They could throw a rag doll up on that board for all we'd care, as long as they show more of those crazy, fear-inspiring waves.

The films also portrays the camaraderie between Anne Marie and her best friends Eden (Rodriguez) and Lena (Lake, a Hawaii native, model, and longtime surfer). The two don't get to flex their surfing muscles too often, instead spending the majority of the movie assuring Anne Marie that she is a champion, and warning her against the advances of her football playing lover.

The roles are pretty thankless, but both actresses do a good job, especially Rodriguez, who deserves a much bigger part than that of the supportive best friend. I suppose the important part is that they look good—in a movie all about eye candy, they're the perfect kind of wrapper.

All of the film's story threads eventually come together to form a satisfying, if frustratingly traditional, finale. The Pipe Masters competition is exciting, and builds well on the previous surfing scenes. It's likely that Blue Crush is a film you'll forget about five minutes after you leave the theater, but in a way, that's sort of appropriate. Like a great day at the beach, it was fun while it lasted.

—Erin Steele


hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

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