Billabong Odyssey

"Weak"

Billabong Odyssey Review


The search for the world's biggest wave comes off an awful lot like the world's longest educational video, with the usual "safety first" rhetoric and a minimum of real surfing footage.

Obviously inspired by the crush of skateboarding-as-rising-sport movies like Dogtown and Z-Boys and Stoked, Billabong Odyssey ostensibly follows a surfing competition in which the winner is crowned by surfing on the biggest wave in the world (this turns out to be about 70 feet high, which the breathtaking opening sequence presents in all-too-dramatic size). That's all well and good, but Billabong falls into the deadly trap of being more about its subjects than about the sport. I don't know Brad Gerlach from Mike Parsons, but if you're the kind of person who does, you might find something interesting in their life history and entree into the sport of surfing.

You might also find yourself intrigued about how weather reports, simulators, and jet skis are enabling this kind of extreme surfing, but in the end, even die-hard surfheads will want these clowns to just shut up and get on their boards. Even the relatively banal Endless Summer series got that right. Bruce Brown is smart enough to include minimal footage that doesn't include some wave work -- and when he narrates, his main goal is to crack jokes.

Barely 30 minutes into this 88-minute feature, I was ready to turn the disc off if I heard one more time about how "on the cusp" these surfers felt they were.

And eventually they do get on the waves, and director Philip Boston has a handful of miraculous shots in store for us, usually via helicopter fly-by shots and in-your-face telephoto work.

Ultimately, though, the film's sensibility -- with its loud soundtrack, quick-cuts to magazine covers and articles, and slow-motion action shots -- is too strange of a conflagration of PBS and MTV to be effective.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 25th March 2004

Box Office USA: $54.0k

Distributed by: ArenaPlex

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Philip Boston

Producer:

Starring: as Himself, as Himself, Brian L. Keaulana as Himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.