Surf's up; plot's flat
[Photos: Universal Studios]
Surfer girl Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) does her thing in Blue Crush.
By PHILIP BOOTH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 15, 2002
The cinematography in the surfing saga Blue Crush may stir audience desires to hang 10. But the cliched story qualifies as a wipe out.
Blue Crush, it's safe to say, amounts to the second-best surfing movie of the year. But it's a long way behind Dogtown and Z-Boys, the compelling pseudodocumentary on the SoCal skateboarders whose moves were inspired by champion surfers.
Dogtown, already available on DVD, boasts plenty of gritty, true-life drama. Blue Crush, on the other hand, thrives on melodrama, sex appeal and -- nearly, but not quite, a saving grace -- amazing footage of tasty waves and world-class surfers doing their thing. Cinematographer David Hennings (Very Bad Things) really knows how to become one with the wave and generously offers viewers the same vantage point.
Unlike Dogtown, 1978's Big Wednesday, the beach movies of the 1960s and practically every surfer movie ever made, Blue Crush centers on a group of female wave enthusiasts, led by onetime standout Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth of Remember the Titans).
Anne Marie, blue-eyed, blond and forever clad in a bikini, lives for surfing, and shares a Hawaii beach shack with best friends Eden (Michelle Rodriguez of Girlfight), Lena (Sanoe Lake) and little sister Penny (Mika Boorem). The three older girls support their surfing habit by working as maids at a ritzy Maui hotel. Penny, 14, reluctantly attends school; the siblings' mom split town with a boyfriend.
At the hotel, Anne Marie runs into handsome Matt (Matthew Davis), an NFL quarterback visiting Hawaii with his team (note to the Bucs front office: Warren Sapp is mentioned very favorably by Matt as a fierce opponent, in a reference to a Tampa win). The friendship turns into a romance between lovers from opposite sides of the track, an old plot already revived once by director John Stockwell, in last year's Crazy/Beautiful.
Feminists and the muy macho alike should be pleased with the direction taken by Blue Crush. The girl power is mixed with a fairytale ending, as Anne Marie and her friends prepare together for the Pipe Masters competition, on the north shore of Oahu, and Mr. Football offers his support of the surfer girl's goals. Nice waves. Bland story.
Competitive surfer Anne Marie (played by Kate Bosworth, third from left), her rebellious younger sister and two friends (from left, Mika Boorem, Michelle Rodriguez and Sanoe Lake) live the idyllic surfers life on Oahus north shore in Blue Crush.
- Grade: C
- Director: John Stockwell:
- Cast: Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis, Sanoe Lake, Mika Boorem
- Screenplay: John Stockwell and Lizzy Weiss, adapted from an article by Susan Orlean
- Rating: PG-13
- Running time: 95 minutes
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