Directed by Sean McNamara
Starring AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt
Soul Surfer retells the emotive story of how teen surfer Bethany Hamilton tragically lost her arm in a shark attack but continued to realise her dreams and come to terms with her new life. This has got to be one of the most kid friendly inspirational biopics of recent years. But that’s exactly it, it’s kid friendly. The film tows every single cliché imaginable (including the mandatory training montage) which comes across a little insincere and cheesy. Sadly, all this hamming up in the movie detracts from what could be a very powerful biopic. Bethany Hamilton’s story and spirit is more interesting than the actual movie of it.
As well as this, the CGI leaves a lot to be desired. In short, you can see which waves are real and which are computer generated etc, but that’s a minor quibble because Soul Surfer probably didn’t profess to be technically excellent. The acting is fine, there are some quite moving moments, and the soundtrack is absolutely spot on.
It’s moving at times, truly inspirational and is all round feel-good. As well as this, the stunning shots of Hawaii and its beaches are very beautiful too. This is not a bad film (and it would be great for children), but doesn’t quite hit the mark in the same way that something like 127 Hours does.