There appears to be a providential side to losing an arm in a shark attack. Bethany Hamilton, a sponsored teenage surfer, made national headlines after she survived an attack in 2004. She made INTERnational headlines when she refused to let a silly lack of limb stop her from competing. Now, she has a multi-million dollar film poised for release. TriStar Pictures & Film District present Sean McNamara’s Soul Surfer, starring Anna Sophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, and Carrie Underwood. The picture opens nationwide Friday, March 25.
Check out the review below…
- Director: Sean McNamara
- Writer: Sean McNamara, Deborah Schwartz, Douglas Schwartz
- Cast: AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Carrie Underwood
Bethany’s your bona fide beach babe: sun kissed skin, wavy blonde hair, a body that quite possibly rivals Kate Bosworth’s in Blue Crush, and a slew of sponsor’s banging down her door. Shark attack + loss of arm = athletically challenged (and not to mention a deflated spirit). The film follows the aftermath of the attack, specifically how Bethany bounces back from this traumatic accident and regains a little perspective on making the best of a bad situation.
- Visuals: Credits to credits Sould Surfer is a visually pleasing picture. Reminiscent of a Lords Of Dogtown with the bright palettes, skateboard/surfboard P.O.V.’s, and the beach-town-swagger environment, every frame screams “gnarly!!!”. This coupled with at least two dozen sweeping coast line shots very much captures the spirit of Bethany’s world.
- Story: The story itself is undoubtedly inspiring and should certainly speak to McNamara’s target audience (presumably adolescents). Everyone loves a little “coming of age” eh?
- Family Crap: Clearly Bethany’s supportive, encouraging family had a substantial affect on her recovery, but the script puts major overemphasis on this fact. Chummy sibling banter, tickling, inside jokes blah blah blah – overkill. We get it, you like each other. I’m inclined to argue that writers don’t give actors enough credit - show us the affection, don’t declare it five times.
- Length: The first act rolls steadily, but once the attack happens this film slips down a sluggishly paced slope. There were several scenes that could’ve either been entirely eliminated or simply cut shorter, particularly the competition montages.
- Dialogue: Stage 5 Cheesiness. And, again, these writers aren’t giving the actors OR the audience enough credit. We’re not brain dead, we can follow a plot without having every story logistic reiterated a via dialogue.
- Carrie Underwood: For real? Girl, stick to singing.
April 8th, 2011