‘The Perfect Wave’ Needs More Surfing Less Religion

While it starts off as a somewhat laughable surfing movie (laughable because of the writing/acting, not purposely), ‘The Perfect Wave’ quickly turns into a full-length infomercial for finding religion and joining the Christian Church. This transition decimates whatever semblance of plot the film had maintained previously, and renders the last twenty minutes or so almost unwatchable.

‘The Perfect Wave’ is based on a true story about a young man (Scott Eastwood) trying to discover what he wants out of life. He starts as a surfer looking for his next big thrill, the titular referenced perfect wave, but it turns out that what he really needs is not the perfect wave but religion, specifically Christianity.

The fact that the film is overtly religious is not its downfall, nor is it a necessarily a bad thing. Plenty of films have had religion as a theme and still maintained a plot. Its problem lies with the fact that its intent is deliberately hidden until it is dropped on the viewer like a ton of bricks. The plot associated with the film is much different from the film as viewed, again not necessarily an issue, if the twist didn’t feel like such an intentional attempt at proselytizing. Beyond this, the sudden twist ruins the flow of the entire film. The writers of the film spent too much time worrying about conveying a Christian message instead of crafting an entertaining (or comprehensible) script. Many of the performances in the film feel as awkward as the lines the actors are delivering. Scott Eastwood comes off as his father’s son in name only.

There is some decent footage of surfing displayed in the film, but not enough to save it from itself. Other surfing films offer just as good of footage without the loaded Christian message. Fans of Christian films have a chance of finding at least something to like about ‘The Perfect Wave,’ but most other audiences should just watch ‘Endless Summer’ if they want to watch a good surfing movie.

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