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A girl, a ‘board, a dream: oh, please. Blue Crush hits you with its grrrl-power message with the force of a killer wave, turning what could have been a decent teen movie into a lecture about how boys unfairly rule the world. Nearly everyone in the film has an unexplained attitude problem, especially the surfer guys who taunt surfer gals Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth), Eden (Michelle Rodriguez), Lena (Sanoe Lake), and Penny (Mika Boorem) about not belonging, even though they’ve apparently been surfing the same beach since they were kids. Extreme ‘tudes are also displayed by Penny, Anne Marie’s 14-year-old sister, who has a one-scene-long struggle with drinking and authority, and Eden, Anne Marie’s partner-in-training, who turns on her friend when Anne Marie starts dating the football-playing Matt (Matthew Davis) and seems to no longer care about the upcoming Pipe Masters competition. Anne Marie, meanwhile, is fighting the doubt brought on by the near-drowning she suffered a few years before, which has kept her out of competitive surfing until now. Besides that nugget of information, there’s little story here and even less momentum to carry you from the first glimpse of a bigass wave to the last, though each of those shots is itself spectacular. Better than The Perfect Storm at relaying the terrifying power of the ocean, Blue Crush may go a little overboard replaying a scene of Anne Marie knockin’ her noggin on a reef, but otherwise its close-in footage of the Pacific’s mighty swells is infinitely fascinating. It’s best, in fact, just to stare blankly at the pretty screen and not think too hard about the conflicting messages being offered: While trying to flesh out a story about independent young women forging ahead in a sport dominated by men, the screenwriters—whoops!—fashioned a subplot in which Anne Marie is “hired” by Matt for surfing lessons and subsequently given an obscene amount of money and other fancy gifts before ending up in his bed. If somehow you hadn’t given up on the movie when our heroine’s boss fires her by sternly saying, “Surf’s up, Anne Marie,” you’ll definitely lose a little respect for it when the Cinderella-hooker angle gets played. —Tricia Olszewski