Surf, sand, babes and boys on Oahu's North Shore, Hawaii. This has to be cult, this has to be fun. All the ingredients are here, except two. The plot is pants and Kate Bosworth, as Anne Marie, budding surfer champ, can't cut it in the credibility stakes.

Based on a magazine article by Susan Orlean - she of Adaptation fame - the movie takes a feminist slant on the male preserve of riding killer waves in exotic climes. Beach bummary and the code of surfage has appealed to every rebel generation, consisting, almost exclusively, of young guys in baggy shorts and bleached blond hair.

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Anne Marie won a prize for being the most promising youngster a few years back, before almost drowning in a freak accident which haunts her still - repeated flashbacks of head hitting rock in churned up underwater close up. Now she's working as a maid, J-Lo style, in a swanky hotel on the island with best friends Eden (Michelle Rodriguez) and Lena (Sanoe Lake). Every free moment, they are in the sea with their boards, practising for the internationally renowned Pipe Masters competition, possibly the most dangerous in the world.

Off-the-peg romance is provided, courtesy of a quarterback (Matthew Davis), who sweet talks Anne Marie into bed. He's potential rodent material, a vacation Romeo, who likes to buy her stuff. "He's leaving in a few days," Eden warns. "What are you going to be left with? A pair of shoes?" Anne Marie doesn't care. He's so transparent, he might be what he seems, a deeply uninteresting person who makes too much money throwing a funny shaped ball straighter than anyone else.

Being a surfing movie, much time is spent in the water. The waves are ginormous and the experience of wipe-out scary as hell. Some of the best exponents of riding-the-pipe are in evidence, doing remarkable things. The problem is to make the girls looks as if they are in the same league and so CGI effects are used to help them along. Purists will be appalled. The philosophy of boardheads is rooted in real. Faking it has no place here.

Reviewed on: 03 Apr 2003
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Three girl surfers in Hawaii for the Pipe Masters comp meet guys and ginormous waves.
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Director: John Stockwell

Writer: Lizzy Weiss, John Stockwell, based on a magazine article by Susan Orlean

Starring: Kate Bosworth, Matthew Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Sanoe Lake, Mika Boorem, Chris Taloa

Year: 2002

Runtime: 104 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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