Blue Crush (2002) / Drama-Romance

MPAA Rated: PG-13 for sexual content, teen partying, language and a fight
Running Time: 104 min.

Cast: Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis, Sanoe Lake, Mika Boorem
Director: John Stockwell

Screenplay: Lizzy Weiss, John Stockwell
Reviww published August 17, 2002

BLUE CRUSH is a film that really has little by way of surprises in its plot, story or delivery.  However, it does sport one big surprise:  it's actually a decent flick.  From the movie's ads, you'd probably expect a cheesy summer cash-in featuring hot babes and a flimsy story played for laughs, but those low expectations will either please viewers hoping for something a cut above poor or disappoint those looking for cheap thrills.  Although there are admittedly lots of skimpy outfits, there aren't any nude scenes or memorable bad language to speak of, and outside of some adult situations and humor, it's almost suitable for most members of the family. 

The film follows Anne Marie, who as a young surfer girl was a junior champion with great potential.  That is, until one day she gets crushed by a huge wave that nearly drowns her, shattering her confidence and keeping her from competition until her early adulthood in Hawaii.  She lives with her precocious younger sister and two surfer girl roommates, but she is clearly the one with the talent for the board, which is the reason she is invited to compete in the Women's Rip Masters competition.  As the day of the event approaches, she finds herself having trouble concentrating, not only because of her fear of drowning, but because there is a vacationing pro quarterback on the island with whom she is beginning to care about. 

One of BLUE CRUSH's main assets is the gorgeous cinematography, the kind you might expect on your typical surf video or IMAX showing of Hawaii.  There's hardly an ugly moment in the film, and if you are entertained just watching rolling waves and excellent surfing footage, it might be worth a watch just for the view.  However, there is actually a story in BLUE CRUSH, and although simplistic, the acting and directing is surprisingly realistic, playing almost like a reality TV show about the lives of the girls who surf in Oahu. 

Credit goes to director John Stockwell for making this a hip, fun, and credible surf film, perhaps one of the better films to ever cover the sport, mixing beautiful footage cut in music video form to hip hop and reggae jams.  Kate Bosworth also impresses with a true-to-form performance that carries the movie, and a supporting cast that step up equally to the task. 

If the film may be predictable, who cares?  Great sights and sounds mixed with some interesting drama makes for some pretty good escapist entertainment of it's own.  You may not want to admit liking BLUE CRUSH to all your friends, but deep down, you know you like it.

Qwipster's rating:

2002 Vince Leo