Review: Blue Crush

by Jake Sproul

Rating: (out of )

With Blue Crush, writer/director John Stockwell has crafted the quintessential summer movie. Swimsuits, the beach, sassy characters but ultimately a weak plot.

The first movie I thought of when thinking of a movie to compare Blue Crush to was last year's Summer Catch. Same type of teen plot, and they were released on similar dates. But that really isnít a fair comparison. While they do have siliarities, Summer Catch is the film bottom of the barrel, while Blue Crush is just a dissapointment.

Anne Marie Chadwick is your typical surfer girl. Blonde hair and perfect abs. She lives with her two best friends, Lena and Eden, and her little sister, Penny. Anne Marie, a former surfer prodigy, had a near death surfing accident 3 years prior, and it has kept her from really getting back to the big waves and competition. With her first competition since the accident looming, Anne Marie is training hard, but is still timid. When all she should be doing is surfing and practicing, enter the playboy football jock. Anne Marie finds her world turned upside down and herself falling for football jock Matt Tollman.

A romance is necessity in movies such as this. The romance in Blue Crush between Anne Marie and Matt is not bad if we are grading on a curve. However, the characters are such stereotypes there is no substance to the relationship what so ever.

The characters of Blue Crush are very bland. Theyíre cinematic equivalent of water, (ironically the premise of the film is water.) The actors do nothing to really break out. But with such mundane roles, they manage along alright. This isnít a very talky film, so even though Anne Marie is obviously our main character, the number of lines that are hers are limited in comparison to other leads in other movies. What Kate Bosworth does with her limited lines isnít really impressive either. At times she can monotonous, but who is really paying attention to her lines when she has such a beautiful face?

With Hollywoodís A-list starting to age, the move to use no big name stars was a wise one for Blue Crush. This is the perfect film to help launch the careers of some possible future stars. The biggest star cast in Blue Crush is Michelle Rodriguez, who we previously saw in Girl Fight. Her performance is also the most commanding, and her character of Eden is also the most intriguing character. (Funny how these run parallel.)

There is little in terms of character development. We occasionally heard/saw snippets of the history of these girls. But not enough to piece one to the next. We are handed a plate of characters and expected to just swallow them the way they are, without any growth and development, and ignoring how typical of characters they may be.

Several times during the film, Anne Marieís mother is mentioned. We come to the conclusion that she left Anne Marie and Penny, and that this is an important emotional scar of Anne Marie's. We are not given any further information on the family of these kids though, like what happened to their father, and why did their mother leave? This leaves us feeling of dissatisfaction and makes us wonder if and why this is motivating Anne Marie. But I assume most of the background information was left of the cutting room floor.

For most of us, surfing is just something we read about or dream about trying. But through fantastic cinematography and above average special effects, we are taken instead the Pipeline. I canít even imagine how hard it is to get good shots in the water. Even though there are the occasional laps in attention to detail, the special effects are very nice.

I am not a strong swimmer, but after watching Blue Crush, I find myself fantasizing about surfing. But I also find myself fantasizing about a stronger plot, stronger characters and a stronger movie.

© 2002 Jake Sproul

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