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

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Advertisement
Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

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.