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Blue Crush

This year's Spartacus has finally arrived.

Blue Crush has come crashing into theaters to expose the seedy, hidden world of female surfing. The ins and outs, the secret handshakes and diabolical plots, the horrid underbelly of this dangerous, angst-ridden world, which is threatening to explode upon the scene and change the way we look at life.

OK, maybe not. But it's a pretty damn cool movie.

Blue Crush is the story of Anne Marie, a tough but adorable surfer chick who dreams of riding that perfect wave. She's a week away from the big surfing event, where she will tempt fate against some of the world's most dangerous waves. But before she can conquer those waves, she must conquer a handsome, too-perfect NFL quarterback, the temptation of giving up her dreams for the good life, the nagging of her friend who doesn't want her to give up her dreams for the good life, her bad-attitude little sister who's in danger of turning into a pot smoking version of Anne Marie, and some messy hotel rooms.

Like any of this matters, we've got pretty girls in bikinis surfing!!!

Actually, what sets Blue Crush apart from every other 'pretty girls in bikinis surfing' movie is that, truth be told, there's a heck of a lot more emphasis on the surfing than there is on the pretty girls or the bikinis. The movie is called Blue Crush, not "Hot Chicks Who Surf," and the real stars of the show are the monster waves that pour down onto the camera, crushing the life out of everyone in the theater.

The camera goes out into the waves and lets you experience the joy of a near-death experience. The water rushes over you, tumbles you about and you're left grasping for air. This is what it is like to surf the monsters, and now I, for one, know why I don't surf--I'd die.

There are many waves in this film. This is a good thing because the dry scenes lack a certain...everything. Every moment spent out of the water is a moment spent tapping your fingers waiting for everyone to get wet again. There isn't really any conflict out of the water. The too-perfect NFL quarterback may have a girl back home...for about fifteen seconds. Anne Marie may be giving up her dreams...for about thirty seconds. We all know she's going to end up trying to surf the pipes at the big surfing event at the end of the film, why do they waste our time with things like dialogue and character depth?

Sure, it's nice to know that Anne Marie's mother left her and her little sister and ran away to California, but all it means is that Anne Marie surfs with a more intense grimace on her face. Sure we care to learn that Anne Marie was a promising student before she dropped out of school, but it only tells us that she's a little smarter when it comes to choosing her waves. Sure it's nice to see Anne Marie in the low-cut dress, but... well, never mind, that's important.

For a movie with a poster that screams T and A, the movie is surprisingly non-exploitive. Yes, the pretty girls do a lot of surfing in their bikinis, but it's hard to rev up the libido when the object of your lust is thrashing about in the tumbling surf. These girls are real people, and they will kick your ass if you objectify them.

When all is said and done, it's woman vs. waves and the battle is fierce, exciting and well worth the price of admission. The surfing scenes are exhilarating, and the doldrums of the dry scenes give you a chance to catch your breath.

Blue Crush washes up 4 1/4 Babylons onto the shore. Which is pretty much what I'd expected for a movie about pretty girls in bikinis surfing. Except it earns it's Babylons in a way I'd never would have thought. By being good.

Editor's Note:

The SMC believes that he's cosmically connected with Anne Marie. I reminded him that participating in Hawaiian Shirt Friday doesn't quite qualify as a connection.

Blue Crush
Rated: PG-13
Directed By: John Stockwell
Starring: Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis, Sanoe Lake, Mika Boorem and the Sound and Fury of Mother Nature relentlessly pounding her fists into your skull.

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