Thursday, April 14, 2011
A Decent Ride :Soul Surfer - Movie Official Trailer 2011 (HD)
Its pretty much all there: the set-up, complete with engaging surf action scenes, the breathtaking scenery of Hawaii, the congeniality mixed with intensity as the subject - in this case, champion pro surfer Bethany Hamilton - makes her climb up the rung to sporting glory.
All that's really missing from this affable sports story is the "villain" . Understandably, given the need to hew close to a PG-grade rating, the shark which essentially sampled Hamilton's left arm is not even shown at the point of attack - a steadily darkening pool of blood alerts us to the tragedy that sets the story in motion and the beast is only seen a few scenes later, hanging upside down from the end of a line.
Its only substitute is a rival surfer, Malena, who mecilessly muscles Bethany out of choice waves whether she has two arms or one. Dennis Quaid and a badly aging (had to say it) Helen Hunt play the parents who try to navigate their own roles amid the tragedy and the new world of adjustments in its aftermath. And there are brothers, family friends and assorted personalities (media and otherwise).
But the action of course revolves around Ann Sophia Robb ('Jumper" "Bridge to Terabithia") and she's more than up to the task, delivering credibility both on and off the water. There's also Carrie Underwood, a couple shades of bland as the "voice of wisdom" and leader of Christian relief missions in the aftermath of the tsunami of December 2005. Its on that mission trip - having skipped a previous one to Mexico, that Hamilton "sees the light" of her self-centred value system and regains her appetite for surfing.
As a diversion, Soul Surfer is useful enough; as a surf movie, it doesn't quite measure up to Rick Elgood's 'Surf Rasta" (did that one make to local screens?) or "Point Break" but apart from Christian groups and educators looking for uplifting fare to build sermons and ministries around, there won't be many people who find it essential.