Bustin' Down The Door

"Good"

Bustin' Down The Door Review


Clearly designed to give credit where it's due, this film spotlights the guys who broke new ground to create modern surfing. But while it's an important, interesting document, it's rather too detailed for non-surfers.

Surfers from Hawaii and California honed their craft on some of the best waves in the world on Oahu's North Shore. Then in the 1970s, a group of guys from Australia and South Africa arrived to challenge the classic surfing style.

Centring on five pioneers (Townend, Shaun Thomson, Bartholomew, Richards and Cairns), this doc tells their stories as they pushed boundaries and fought for respect as professional sportsmen. And the hardest to win over were fellow surfers.

There's a wealth of vintage film clips here, often slowed down to let us see every detail, plus stills and interviews both from the period and looking back.

And it looks as spectacular as expected, with toned beach boys gliding through tropical waves as they talk about how they felt about their sport, their goals, their triumphs and troubles. There's even a real sense of danger, with scenes of terrible wipeouts and sometimes life-threatening conflicts when the newcomers rubbed their competitors the wrong way by trumpeting their success.

Yet while the film holds our attention, it's fairly specific in its appeal to surfing enthusiasts. This isn't as broadly engaging as Riding Giants, which is far more spectacular in its imagery and insightful in its approach. This film feels more like an inside job, requiring considerable reverence and enthusiasm for waveriding. Although this is slightly undermined by Norton's dry narration.

On the other hand, it captures the stories of these men in raw, personal ways that will grip other surfers. It's a fascinating look at how these young guys created manoeuvres that are now taken for granted. It also explores the politics and issues that emerged as the sport became globally popular, including the impact on Hawaiian culture. And more than everything else, the film is a priceless collection of archival home movies that helps us vividly feel the excitement of riding the surf.



Bustin' Down The Door

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th September 2009

Distributed by: Screen Media Films

Production compaines: Fresh & Smoked

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jeremy Gosch

Producer: Monika Gosch, Shaun Tomson, Robert Traill

Also starring:

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