Rating: Didn’t Suck
It’s kind of hard to give a mediocre rating to a movie about a real person who got their arm bit off by a shark and then turned around and won championship titles in surfing in spite of it. However, this review isn’t about the amazing person the movie is based on, it’s about the movie itself. Unfortunately, the movie isn’t all that great.
What you’ll hate:
-Most disappointing was the director’s choice for basically every single scene in the movie that was supposed to be important. The scene where the shark bite happens, it looks like someone took an angry sock puppet and played “I got your nose” with her arm. I laughed for a brief moment until I remembered that this actually happened to someone. Still, the way it was shot was goofy and takes away from the horror of it
-Poor acting; thankfully Carrie Underwood doesn’t really talk a lot, but nobody else really made much of a difference either
-The focus is on the words, not the feeling, people try so hard to sound inspiring that it becomes humorous
-Tons of religious talk (some people will like this)
What you’ll love:
-It’s based on a true story, which in itself is quite inspiring and amazing
-They don’t get stupid-technical on the aspects of surfing, it’s enough that people who don’t know anything about it can enjoy it, and the shots are cool enough that experienced surfers know what they’re looking at and can get excited about it
-A good enough ending, nothing was missing
-Some footage of the real life Bethany Hamilton
-A focus on religious values and how they shape people’s will to persevere (Some people will dislike this, I’m not religious, I thought it was lame and took up too much of the story, but I know a lot of people get into that stuff so I’m sure they’ll enjoy a movie that isn’t ashamed to show it’s religious enthusiasm since most movies these days don’t)
-The makeup effects were simple and yet gruesome, in a harsh, disturbingly real sort of way. I really think this was a great choice because it contrasts the wholesomeness of the rest of the movie so drastically that you almost feel how she felt, ripped out of her reality.
If religion is your thing, then this is probably the only movie worth seeing in theaters right now. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single curse word in the film, or if there are, it’s few and far between. The blood and gore of the shark bite is minimal and only dramatic enough to send home just how horrible the event was, so it shouldn’t upset younger kids too much. It was a very positive movie. So for you, it’s worth taking the family to a matinée. For everyone else, I think it’s best for most people to save their money and maybe read a book about Bethany Hamilton to see what her struggle was like. It’s really not even worth the time spent watching whereas I’m sure the book would give you something you could personally take away with you while saving you from all the cheese and goofiness of the movie. At least I’d hope so, since I haven’t read any books on it, but usually the books are a thousand times better than the movie, so I’ll roll the dice on it with confidence.
What did you think?
Copyright 2011 Kephra Rubin, movie rating system copyright 2004 Kephra Rubin, excerpts can be used if permission is asked first and a link is provided with the excerpt leading back to this post, the rating system cannot be used under any circumstances.