a breezy Australian
surfing film that doesn't break any new ground or take too many chances
surfing scenes are spectacularly photographed and the performances are
colourful as the scenery. Like many local films, it is extremely well
acted with professionalism, even when the story isn't revolutionary.
opening scenes in the Sixties are filmed in black and white. This is a
visual touch, recalling Oz the Great and Powerful, because
film forwards past the childhood of its central characters Andy and
enters the 1970s, the film explodes with vivid colours being cast over
this enormous wave is Jimmy
(Xavier Samuel). Jimmy and his brother Andy (Myles Pollard) moved from
to Margaret River in Western Australia with their mother Kat (Robyn
start a new life together. Andy works long hours in a timber mill,
brother rides hard in professional surfing competitions. Seeing the
treatment of the older folks of the mill, Andy decides to quit his job
start a surf shop with his brother, selling surfing gear like boards
wetsuits. This is at a time just prior to when surfing competitions
awarding serious prize money.
is angered to discover that Jimmy
has done a small time job for some local bikie crims and urges him to
any stolen material. Yet these bikie thugs refuse to leave their
and one of them becomes involved in drugs. Sam Worthington (Avatar,
the Titans) plays a hippie surfer named JB, who befriends both the
Hawaiian hippie friend Lani (Lesley-Ann Brandt) also takes a romantic
Andy. Beneath its sunny exterior, the film is about the relationship of
two brothers and poses the question of whether a hobby makes for a
and financially sustainable living.
film has more than sand between its
ears, realising that a compromise has to be made when it comes to
sport as an occupation. This is reflected by JB, who has the film's
and smartest line: "Its Darwinian man. We adapt, we survive." It
would be impolite to say that the story by Morgan O'Neill exists merely
showcase the surfing because there is more narrative than just sun.
of a question of the familiarity of many individual story elements.
is very much a rerun of the
underdog story: the little business that could, faced against
like evil bikies and a stuffy bank manager. The bikies are a blessing
curse for the film. They're total caricatures but also helpful in
some danger to the script through some flat spots, where it feels as
there could be more risk involved. The bikies handout a few thuggish
and there is a drug subplot, which gives the film a grittier shade in
to lightweight, jovial tone and relaxed, pleasant performances.
film even retreats to that plotline
where a contest is handily giving out a large monetary prize so that
people can save the farm. Are these contests deliberately organised
places of low socioeconomics and general lucklessness? The organisers
prior knowledge of people's banking woes, such is their convenience. I
couldn't see the necessity of the romance between the Lani and Andy.
serves to ties the global relations between Australian and the US
neatly (in a
perfectly square ending) but any potential conflict between the
eventuates over her.
many people will see the film for
are the stunning, exciting and beautiful surfing sequences, which are
Rick Rifici and Rick Jakovich: two highly experienced and talented
cinematographers. Filmed with great width, there are some gorgeous and
hair-raising waves showcased here. The actors in the film performed
some of the
surfing, while real surfers were employed as stunt doubles too. An
fact is that despite how vivid and colourful the film is, it was
filmed in winter so that the waves would be bigger and therefore more
They're a huge part of a great looking movie so that even when the
slumps or the story seems corny, it's never been so easy to dive into