Directed by: John Stockwell
Written by:Lizzy Weiss, John Stockwell
Starring: Kate Bosworth, Matthew Davis, Michelle Rodroguez, Sanoe Lake, Mika Boorem
Released: December 5, 2002
Grade: B

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the release date of this film coincided with the first week of summer in Australia.  Somehow I don’t think it might have had the same impact if it was released six months ago.

Anne Marie Chadwick (Bosworth) was once a junior surfer prodigy and won many titles to justify this claim.  That was until she was injured in a freak surfing accident.  A big wave crushed Anne and she hit her head on the coral reef deep below the water surface.  Since the accident, she’s continued to surf, but isn’t game to take on any more big waves and has avoided all competitions.

Suddenly, she’s given a lifeline.  The women’s Pipe Masters Championship is to be held at her local beach and she’s been given a wild-card entry to challenge the best in the world.  With the help of her friend, Eden (Rodriguez), she’s been practicing hard but still lacks the courage to take on the big waves.  On top of her surfing dramas, Anne is battling hard to care for her younger sister, Penny (Boorem) since their mother walked out on them.

Both Eden and Anne work as housekeeping in a luxury hotel nearby.  In the week leading up to the competition, Anne meets and falls for a visiting football players named Matt (Davis).  The two begins a very quick summer romance but it’s only going to complicate Anne’s life even further.  With all the time she’s spending with Matt, her surfing practice is being neglected.  Further, is Matt just a one-night stand or is there something more permanent in this blossoming romance?  Tough, huh?

Positively, there’s a fresh, hip soundtrack to compliment the surfing.  And whilst it won’t be winning any costume design awards, the small bikinis our stars wear enhances the eye-candy.  You don’t have to be a huge surfing fan to understand most of the story.  There’s a very annoying commentator who’ll explain it all to you during the final competition.

Negatively, the editing really stinks.  There’s some great cinematography but it doesn’t fit together when edited.  From one scene to the next, the waves look different sizes, the characters look different (because of stunt doubles) and the special effects leave a lot to be desired.  I know it’s tough given the scenario (on water) but it is frustrating to watch.  Maybe I’m looking to hard and not enjoying the film for what it is.  Maybe I needed more popcorn.