Surfing and Summer go hand in hand. If there was a better time to release a film that centers around surfing, this time of year would be it. A great way to welcome in the warm weather. That’s probably the motivation to releasing the new film, Beautiful Wave, to DVD and Blu-ray on this second Tuesday in May. A kick off to summer time fun. But after watching this film, the one thing that may have been lacking from this coming of age film is just that – Fun.
The film stars Aimee Teegarden as Nicole, an introverted teen on a trip to California. The native New Yorker has been sent to live with her Grandmother, Sue (Played by Home Improvement’s Patricia Richardson) for the summer. The grandma runs a surf shop and has a past filled with memories of the one that got away (Nicole’s estranged Grandfather). These stories of the past lead to the discovery of a special map left in his old van. Where the map leads is to Beautiful Wave, a supposed unknown surf paradise in Baja, Mexico. Nicole, along with her new found friends from the surf shop, head off to find this spot and maybe get a few answers about life, love and finding oneself.
This film boasts a cast with a good deal of credits to their name, including Lance Henriksen, who plays the grandfather Nicole has never met. It also was shot on many beaches along the Pacific Coast in Malibu, Santa Cruz and the aforementioned Baja. There is also a subplot about protecting sea turtles from poachers and the production team worked with well known marine biologists to both make sure this story line would be authentic and also to raise awareness on the issue. You would think that with the time and effort put into this film there would be a better movie to show for it. Unfortunately, there’s not.
The film clocks in at 96 minutes but feels 3 hours long. There is a great deal of shots of people staring. Staring at the beach. Staring at the sky. Staring out car windows. Not much talking. Just a lot of staring. For those expecting a fun surf movie, you will not be happy. The surfing in the film is minimal, and is mostly done by stand ins who’re not integral to the plot. Your main characters, three of whom are suppose to be surf fanatics, do very little surfing on camera. I guess because they’re too busy staring. The secondary plot of Lance Henriksen’s character attempting to protect the sea turtles is very vague. Just a few scenes here and there with little dialogue and no real payoff. The film comes off more as a collage of beach shots that all look pretty much the same. With the wide variety of shooting locations listed, the beaches look almost identical, as do most of the extras, which creates a feeling of repetition to the story. In the end, the performances come off as mediocre due to a lack of compelling story. A better director might have been able to get this film back on track, but unfortunately, the script and direction came from the same person. It was lacking personality and that really hurt it in the end.
I have been lucky to see a great deal of fantastic films come out of the Anchor Bay library. Monster Brawl, The Divide, and the release of Battle Royale, to name a few. But they can’t all be winners. So my advice is to avoid Beautiful Wave and instead check out the other great titles that Anchor Bay has to offer.
So that’s my review of the film, but I wanted to share some thoughts from my brother, Nathan Young, who had the pleasure of watching Beautiful Wave with me. What is printed below are direct quotes from him made during and after watching the Blu-ray. His opinions and thoughts do not reflect Geek Hard or its associates, but I thought that they should be printed to provide an honest movie-goer’s take on the film. Some of his comments may be seen as offensive. Others might not make sense at all. I have included them all to paint the picture of how mad this movie made him. Read on.
NATHAN YOUNG’S THOUGHTS ON BEAUTIFUL WAVE
We’re 40 minutes into the film and nothing has even happened. Now I’m pissed.
By the end of the film, my Dad’s asleep in his chair, Andrew’s about to nod off, and I’m wide awake. What does that say about me?
There’s a scene where some dude who looks like Ethan Hawke in Gattaca is standing by the water saying to the Nicole chick, “Do You Want to Race?” She doesn’t say anything to him and this is never brought up again. What the Fuck? It’s like if I shot a scene for a movie and put a Clown in corner just tickling himself and no one even notices. It’s just that stupid.
This film has ruined surfing for me. Now, if someone tells me they’re going surfing, I am going to vomit and kill them with a turtle.
This film is 90% b-roll / 10% boring, stupid shit.
I’m going to make a film about me watching television. Shot of me, then b-roll of the clicker, the table, the plate on the table, then back to me scratching my belly and watching t.v. That would be the whole movie and it would still be better than Beautiful Wave. Know what I would call it? “I’m not Watching Beautiful Wave”.
It’s like the guy who wrote this film was a writer for t.v. movies and someone took out his brain, turned it upside down and shoved it back in his head and this is what he writes now.
I keep waiting to see how awesome this Beautiful Wave Beach that they’re going to is, thinking that this place is going to look cool. They get there and it looks exactly like all the other beaches in the film. THEY’RE ALL THE SAME BEACH!
This film is like going to Air-Zone and finding all the rides are turned off and there’s just turtles everywhere and they’re giving out apples.
It was like the beach from Karate Kid, except instead of everyone being a dick, they’re all just horny and humping vans and shit.
This movie is the shit….I mean it’s shit. I don’t like it.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!