Storm Surfers 3D

Movie Information

The Story: A 3-D documentary about surfing. The Lowdown: The success of this is almost certainly related to the audience's level of enthusiasm for surfing. Yes, the surfing footage is impressive, but 90 minutes of it is a bit much if the topic doesn't interest you.
Genre: Surfing Documentary
Director: Justin McMillan, Christopher Nelius (Storm Surfers, Dangerous Banks)
Starring: Tom Carroll, Ross Clark-Jones, Ben Matson, Toni Collette (narration)
Rated: NR

This stands a very good chance of being the shortest review I’ve ever written. Oh, it’s not because the surfing documentary, Storm Surfers 3D, is bad. It is, in fact, probably the absolute bee’s knees … that is if you’re keen on surfing. And therein lies the problem: I am not keen on surfing. I don’t even like surf music. And even though I grew up with them, a Beach Party movie will send me from the room with some degree of haste. It can be argued that this is a brand new kind of surfing, an extreme-sports version (hey, Red Bull is a co-producer) — and I’m sure that’s true. But the appeal escapes me. I can think of many better amusements that are far less likely to conclude with my obituary. That, of course, misses the point, but I’m just not a thrill seeker — neither as a participant nor as a spectator. In other words … let’s just say I didn’t have a real good time.

According to the press release: “Combining cutting-edge 3-D technology and bravura filmmaking, Storm Surfers 3D is the ultimate big-wave thrill ride. The film follows best friends and surfing legends Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones, along with surf forecaster Ben Matson, as they track and chase giant storms in their quest to ride the Pacific’s biggest and most dangerous waves.” All that’s fair, though I’m not sure I’m buying the bit about “bravura filmmaking.” And, yes, some of it is impressive to look at. The problem is that — from a non-enthusiast point of view — the film is only entertaining for about 30 minutes. Everything that follows is just more of the same. Again and again and again. After a while, one big wave looks a lot like another big wave, and no amount of 3-D splash and spray changes that. Even the Big Event at the film’s end (unwisely followed by a not-as-big event) doesn’t look all that more impressive to the untrained eye than things seen early in the film. However, if you’re into this sort of thing, it’s probably a completely different kettle of fish. Let your interest level be your guide. Not Rated and reasonably suitable to all ages.

Starts Friday at Carolina Cinemas

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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