Blue Crush Movie Review

At 104 minutes, Blue Crush puts the "endless" in the popular surf phrase "endless summer." It certainly feels longer than any movie derived from a magazine article deserves to be (in this case, it's author Susan Orlean's 1998 Women's Outdoor magazine piece "Surf Girls of Maui"). But the bloated undertaking especially disappoints because Crush positively flies out of the gate and entertains for a good 30 minutes before a huge wipeout.

Relative newcomer Kate Bosworth plays Anne Marie, unofficial leader of a trio of surfer chicks and the only one who's tasted fame. Three years prior, she aced a teen championship and flirted with the pro circuit, but a head-on collision with the coral reef resulted in a near-death drowning incident that Anne Marie just can't shake. Her reluctance to get back on the board threatens her final shot at the Pipeline Championship, and the sponsorships and recognition that come with the pro surfing tour.

Blue Crush works best as a travelogue for Oahu and the Hawaiian island's fantastic surf. Director John Stockwell energizes routine long-board sequences with daredevil camera angles and a dynamic pop-rock soundtrack. The film's never at a loss for sand, sun, or skin.

But once Crush aspires to be anything but a "beach & babes" bash, the entire production runs aground like a beached whale. Anne Marie enters an unlikely relationship with an out-of-town hunk (Matthew Davis), despite the fact that he's an NFL quarterback and she's a headstrong housekeeper at a local resort. And one unconvincing subplot has Anne Marie juggling the welfare of her 14-year-old sister (their mother ran out on them years ago). Even Disney's animated Lilo & Stitch, which featured Hawaiian sisters in a similar situation, was smart enough to realize that Social Services would be all over this case with a fine-tooth beach comb.

In an attempt to flush out Orlean's original article, screenwriter Lizzy Weiss overlooks the inherent drama of a woman attempting to compete in a male-dominated sport and aims for implausible and tired clichés. Crush builds without logic, picking up and dropping plot points or character traits when it needs to manipulate emotions. The sunny disposition proposed by Crush gets blocked out, and the endless crashing wave sequences will likely leave you feeling waterlogged.

All I need is a bikini top and same tasty waves.


Comments

Blue Crush Rating

" Weak "

Rating: PG-13, 2002

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