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Blue Crush 1 & 2

Blue Crush (June 9/11)

Affable yet forgettable, Blue Crush follows up-and-coming surfer Anne Marie Chadwick (Kate Bosworth) as she and her friends (Michelle Rodriguez's Eden, Sanoe Lake's Lena, and Mika Boorem's Penny) prepare for a pivotal, life-altering competition - with Anne Marie's resolve tested as she finds herself falling for a visiting football player (Matthew Davis' Matt). Filmmaker John Stockwell proves unable to draw the viewer into the proceedings virtually from the get-go, as the director, working from a script cowritten with Lizzy Weiss, places an initial emphasis on the central character's less-than-engrossing day-to-day exploits (eg Anne Marie surfs, Anne Marie takes care of her sister, etc, etc) - which proves effective at immediately establishing an atmosphere of pervasive mediocrity. Bosworth's charming performance, coupled with the inclusion of a few admittedly engaging sequences (eg Anne Marie, a hotel maid, confronts a guest over his sloppiness), goes a long way towards alleviating the film's otherwise inert sensibilities, with the cute romance between Anne Marie and Matt ensuring that the midsection does remain far more watchable than one might have anticipated. It's worth noting that the underwhelming vibe extends even to the climactic surfing competition, as the sequence, which starts out well enough, goes on much longer than necessary and ultimately wears out its welcome - with the uplifting finale diminished of its impact as a result. Blue Crush is a passable bit of teen-oriented filmmaking that will undoubtedly please its target audience, though it's just as clear that the movie's palpable downfall is cemented by its absence of wholeheartedly compelling elements.

out of

Blue Crush 2 (June 10/11)

A decidedly underwhelming sequel, Blue Crush 2 follows Sasha Jackson's Dana as she impulsively decides to fly to South Africa and surf in all the spots visited by her dead mother years earlier - with the film subsequently (and primarily) detailing Sasha's ongoing adventures alongside new friends like Elizabeth Mathis' Pushy and Ben Milliken's Tim. (There's also an inexplicably bitchy rival for Dana to contend with in the guise of Sharni Vinson's Tara.) Blue Crush 2 establishes itself as a pervasively underwhelming (and sporadically incompetent) effort right from its opening minutes, as scripter Randall McCormick kicks off the proceedings with a poorly-conceived confrontation between Sasha and her father (Gideon Emery's Joel) that's rife with laughably overwrought chunks of dialogue (eg Sasha, in blaming Joel for her mother's death, exclaims, "You shouldn't have brought her to L.A! This is what really killed her, not the cancer!") It does, as a result, become virtually impossible to work up any interest in or enthusiasm for Dana's exploits in South Africa, with the less-than-engrossing vibe exacerbated by an almost astonishingly sluggish pace and an aggressively overlong running time. (The pervasive emphasis on the protagonists' relentless revelry - eg they surf, they dance, they hang out, etc - certainly doesn't help matters.) There is, as a result, little doubt that the film's more overtly dramatic moments fall utterly and completely flat - Pushy's efforts at winning a pivotal competition remains a rare exception to this - which ultimately cements Blue Crush 2's place as an ill-conceived attempt at cashing in on the mild notoriety of its predecessor.

out of

About the DVD: Blue Crush 2 comes armed with an anamorphically-enhanced transfer and a rather impressive assortment of supplemental materials (including a commentary track, an alternate opening, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and more).
© David Nusair