Today we open up the vaults for a 2002 movie that you will now typically find in the $5 sell bin at Wal-Mart. This movie isn’t a case of a terrible movie sitting in the depths of a bin, waiting for some unsuspecting person to dig through it and pull out $5 worth of wasted time. Instead, this movie is more of a decent early 2000’s movie that just simply got forgotten as the times moved forward. Blue Crush isn’t a bad movie, in fact I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Crush when I was becoming a teenager and had nothing better to do with my time while I was on summer vacation from school. But as the years of worn on and I have watched the movie as an adult, I have come to realize that Blue Crush is an ambitious movie that falls flat when it comes to the ambition level.
Blue Crush is the story of a young woman named Anna Marie Chadwick (Kate Bosworth). She is a surfer from Hawaii who takes care of her little sister Penny (Mika Boorem) as their mom left them for a random boyfriend and her two friends Lena and Eden (Sanoe Lake & Michelle Rodriguez). The trio can either be found working a dead end job as housekeepers at a luxury hotel or surfing on the beach.
Anna Marie is a former pro surfer who was sidelined after a horrific accident that left her psychologically traumatized and unable to get back onto the board. One day while working, she meets a professional football playing Quarterback staying in one of the hotels named Matt Tollman (Matthew Davies) who also happened to be created out of the generic white love interest factory. The story follows Anna Marie as she prepares for a surfing competition in the hopes of over coming her fears and getting back into the professional surfing scene.
If anything, you can just watch this movie over and over again just for the surf scenes. They are absolutely stunning! The shots, the stunts, the action, the pacing, all of it is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. I would love to know how they got most of these shots because it simply astonishes me how much they were able to do with these practical effects. If anything, you can cut most of the movie out and watch how professional surfing is done!
The Characters are Likable Enough
I cannot stand the story and we will get to that in a moment, but overall the characters are enjoyable enough. Anna Marie, Lena, and Eden all have solid chemistry with one another and create some great comedic moments between one another. Their scenes in the hotel rooms, while not exactly great for the plot itself are hilarious.
Rodriguez, Bosworth, and Lake are so good in this movie that they compliment and cover up some of the major problems with the film!
The Story is Shit
You can tell that this movie wanted to be much more than what it turned out to be. It tries to tell the Anna Marie Chadwick story of a woman who almost ended up on the pro surfer scene and now lives her life as a beach bum, trying to scrounge up money for rent and utilities, while still trying to get out in the surf and ride the waves. The attempt is there to come up with a story that is about a woman conquering her fears and overcoming a great tribulation. The problem is that this plot is completely lost in a shitty fairy tale story.
Moments of Anna Marie being terrified of the waves are completely lost on the bumbling antics of the football players in the movie and the three friends recreating, what seems like, a female Three Stooges skit while cleaning hotel rooms. Moments of Anna Marie saying that she wants Penny to stop smoking, fucking slackers, and going to college is made null and void by earlier scenes where she brings Penny in late and the three girls beret the principal for caring about her education.
Then we can add in the fairy tale love story of a housekeeper falling in love with the NFL Quarterback Matt Tollman. This feels like trite love story from start to finish. It is almost like some sort of weird prize. Congrats! You overcame your tribulation, here have a generic white dude quarterback. This is made even better by the fact that, for all intent and purpose, this is just some vacation fling. Throughout the entire movie, you get the sense that this is some quarterback’s desire to hook up while in Hawaii and the movie never once deters you from this feeling… As a matter of fact, they even bring it up! There is a scene where Anna Marie listens to the wives of some of the players who say that Matt loves to hook up with random women like the woman at Denny’s. When confronted with this, he neither accepts nor denies these allegations and makes a vague confession of love to Anna Marie. They end up together at the end of the movie, but it feels to fairy tale for it to feel real. For all we know, Anna Marie is the Denny’s waitress all over again!
What all of this boils down to is…
Simple fact of the matter is that this movie wanted to be a story of a woman trying to conquer her fears. I would even go as far as to say that it was trying to be Oscar Bait. This movie is ripe with the type of drama that the Academy goes for. Maybe not a winner with some of the goofy comedy thrown in there, but certainly aiming to make more than just a surfing movie.
The problem with this is that it feels completely off. It is both Oscar Bait and cheeky comedy, neither of which tend to blend together all that well. I am not saying that an Oscar movie can have some funny moments (Silver Lining’s Playbook anyone?) or that a comedy cannot have its drama. But you do want to stick to one overall theme and mix in the other hear and there. That doesn’t happen here, it is a mix of the two in this strange sort of hodge podge of a mess that I cannot make heads nor tails of.
This is a movie that I loved as a kid, but now that I watch it… It just doesn’t hold up as well. The characters and the surfing scenes hold up what is a mediocre plot and a movie that strives to be more than what it is, a bland movie. It isn’t terrible and is worth at least one watch. But there isn’t much more that will keep you coming back.
Final Score 2.5/5
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