Thursday, April 8, 2010

Quick Film Review - Surfer, Dude

I don't watch a whole lotta movies, I don't really have the time and most of the films emanating from Hollywood reek of a blandness or sameness, stamped with the mantra that a big star and more explosions equals success. Or the drama is contrived and plausibility factor is in the toilet. So last night, after class and after reading a little for next week (finals are around the corner and I'm nervous) I turned on the TV to give me brain a break and found...well, this odd movie....

I've looked it up on IMDb and found that all told, the film grossed around $50,000, which makes it an epic flop considering someone invested millions to make it. But it's not that bad a film, considering the fact the for most of it...well, 95% of it, the lead Matthew McConaughey is bereft of shirt. That alone should have made it unwatchable, but it wasn't.

The whole movie is about a guy who is supposed to be the world's greatest surfer: cool, smoked out, barefoot and basically living the life we all dreamed we'd lived when we were much younger. He makes money off casual endorsements of stuff he uses and really doesn't focus on business, just the waves. Only his loose casual contract has has been bought out by a guy who wants super cool surfer man to be on his surfer version of a reality pay per view show and record his moves for a virtual video game. The hero isn't interested, he just wants to surf. So the evil corporate guy cuts off super cool surfer man's existing money until he signs up for the whole program...just as the waves in the Pacific stop well, waving. No waves, no surf. And super cool surf man can't live without surf.

Throw in lots of gratuitous nudity (that Surfer TV house is the greatest party house ever), massive quantities of illegal substances, the prerequisite cheesy romance storyline, and some surfer zen and you've got...well, a mess. But a very likable mess.

I clicked over a little after the start and found myself fascinated. I figured I would turn the channel in a few seconds, or go to bed, but found myself wanting to watch a few more minutes, and then a few more. And I kept waiting for him to put on some clothes! Or at least change his shorts. It's not a bad little tale, visually it looks like just a cut above your average B-movie/straight to video affair. It could have been a stylized indie statement of life and whatever else those kind of storytellers want you to see, but there isn't enough angst or weight to this movie to pull that off.

I wish I could say, after watching this, that Matthew McConaughy is an underrated actor whose looks distract from watching him act, but I would be lying. McConaughy just plays a character who is essentially himself. Which might make this his best role ever.

I'd watch it again. Maybe.

No comments: