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:: Blue Crush

It might be very easy to view Blue Crush as simply a big summer surf movie, with bikini-clad girls and surfers riding 30-feet waves, and emphasising the girl power thing. Yes, it is that, but more. Director John Stockwell (Crazy/Beautiful) cuts to the core of what it means to face your fears – to be a girl in a world of boys and to ride the big metaphorical wave of life, wherever it takes you.

We meet four young women who share a beach house. Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) dreams of winning the prestigious Pipe Masters surf competition. She lives for the surfing scene. Her housemates are Eden (Michelle Rodriguez), Lena (Sanoe Lake), and Anne Marie’s rebellious younger sister Penny (Mika Boorem). Anne Marie has much to do apart from pursuing her surfing dreams – looking after her sister (since Mum has left them), her job as a chambermaid at a luxury hotel, and a guy called Matt who is romantically interested in her. He had asked Anne Marie to teach him to surf.

There are psychological barriers to overcome because Anne Marie almost drowned the previous year after hitting her head on a rock. This flashback is probably shown too often in the film though. The surfing scenes are very impressive. Mind you, several stunts people are used to expert effect. The cinematography is terrific, the kind you might expect on an IMAX screen.

Lots of tension in the final scenes ensues as the story of the competition reaches its climax. Credit to the director for making this a fun and credible surf movie. He mixes beautiful footage with reggae and hip-hop music as we follow the path of the crashing waves. Kate Bosworth is convincing with a true and realistic character and her supporting cast are equally up to this task. Perhaps more could have been explored in the relationship between Anne Marie and her sister Penny.

Certainly, Blue Crush is recommended for the surfing and the youthful exuberance displayed. The slightly bland romantic moments and a couple of clumsy scenes distract from making the film even better.

Screening on general release.