Storm Surfers 3D
Impressive "big wave" surf documentary is mainly for fans.
What parents need to know
Positive role models
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Storm Surfers 3D is a documentary about two legendary Australian surfers who travel miles offshore searching for giant waves. It's a movie mainly for surf fans rather than for newcomers, and for the uninitiated, it may seem shallow, more in line with a TV reality show. But surf fans should enjoy the beautiful cinematography. Expect some scary wipeouts and Jet Ski crashes, though the surfers mostly emerge unharmed. Language is mild, with only a couple of uses of words like "crap" and "sucks," as well as exclamatory uses of "Jesus" and "God." One scene shows a nightclub full of scantily-clad women. Red Bull is a financier and sponsor on the movie, and the logo is seen and the drink is mentioned at least once.
What's the story?
In Australia, surfing legend Ross Clarke-Jones and world champ Tom Carroll are now in their 40s and spend their winters (i.e. the months of June, July, and August), looking for the biggest waves they can find. Surf forecaster Ben Maston uses all the latest equipment, as well as local gossip, to find places in the ocean that few have ever seen, let alone surfed. Ross and Tom's waves are so big that they travel miles offshore on boats and then tow each other on Jet Skis to get close enough. And then the real fun begins. These men are as skilled as they come, but even they can't always stand up to the massive pounding the giant waves can deliver.
Is it any good?
Those who see STORM SURFERS 3D in the theater will be treated to some innovative 3-D effects, including cameras taken directly underneath the giant curls of the humongous waves. But if seen on the small screen, Storm Surfers is really only for surf fans. It's ultimately too shallow and too integrated for newcomers. Rather than exploring the lives and souls of its heroes, the movie is content to bask in their coolness, which includes occasionally pestering each other about being too "girly" when things get rough.
The movie does spend a bit of time on Carroll's three daughters -- and a single shot on Clark-Jones' son -- but these efforts seem more for decoration than for discovery. Moreover, the movie uses an annoying TV reality show-style formula, inventing phony cliffhangers and artificially ramping up suspense. On the plus side, though, the beautiful, stirring surfing footage may be enough for most viewers.
Families can talk about...
- Families can talk about Storm Surfers' violence. What draws people toward dangerous sports like surfing, especially big-wave surfing?
- Do Ross Clarke-Jones and Tom Carroll seem like role models? Do they make you want to go surfing?
- How is knowledge passed on in the surfing community? What do younger surfers learn from the older guys in the movie? What did the older guys learn in their time?
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