Blue Crush

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Blue Crush
Blue Crush Movie Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Stockwell
Produced byBrian Grazer
Screenplay byLizzy Weiss
John Stockwell
Story byLizzy Weiss
Based onThe Maui Surfer Girls
1998 Women Outside
by Susan Orlean[1][2]
StarringKate Bosworth
Michelle Rodriguez
Matthew Davis
Sanoe Lake
Mika Boorem
Music byPaul Haslinger
CinematographyDavid Hennings
Edited byEmma E. Hickox
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
August 16, 2002
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million
Box office$55 million

Blue Crush is a 2002 sports film directed by John Stockwell and based on Susan Orlean's 1998 Outside magazine article "Life's Swell".[3] The film stars Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Sanoe Lake and Mika Boorem. It tells the story of three friends who have one passion: living the ultimate dream of surfing on Hawaii's famed North Shore.


Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) and her 14-year-old sister, Penny (Mika Boorem), along with good friends Eden (Michelle Rodriguez) and Lena (Sanoe Lake), live in a small house on the North Shore. They all have been helping raise Anne Marie's young sister, ever since the mother took off to Las Vegas with a boyfriend.

While Penny is at school, Anne Marie, Eden, and Lena work as maids in a super-luxury resort hotel, but more important than that, they are surfers. Anne Marie rises every morning before dawn to train for a possible surfing comeback. As a child, she had been a rising star in women's surfing, until she suffered a near-fatal wipeout. This has temporarily halted her progress; now when she is in really big powerful surf, she has deep-seated fears of dying. Her friends, especially Eden, are encouraging her to try once again to become a professional surfer.

Anne Marie has been invited to join an upcoming surf competition at the famed North Shore surf spot, the very challenging Banzai Pipeline. If she can do well enough to gain the attention of a sponsor, it would lift her and her friends out of the near-poverty in which they live. As the Pipeline competition gets closer, Anne Marie struggles to keep her young sister Penny from running wild, and also tries to deal with her own personal issues.

At work at the hotel, Anne Marie catches the eye of Matt Tollman (Matthew Davis), a National Football League quarterback who is in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl (it is hinted that he plays for the Minnesota Vikings). Matt is instantly attracted to the surfer. After a few encounters, Matt says he wants to learn to surf, and Anne Marie agrees to teach him, and several of his rowdy teammates, to surf for $150 per hour, with Lena, Eden, and Penny also acting as coaches. When Anne Marie goes to Matt's hotel room to pick up the money, they kiss, but a call comes in. Anne Marie asks if it is Matt's wife, but he explains it is his niece. Later they sleep together.

Anne Marie's acceptance of a non-Hawaiian as her boyfriend causes friction between her and some of the young male surfers on the North Shore. Eden points out to Anne Marie that her current interest in Matt has weakened her commitment to training for the Pipeline contest. Anne Marie overhears very demeaning comments about herself from some of the other football players' wives and girlfriends who are also staying at the hotel.

Anne Marie confronts Matt about their situation. She soon resolves to step up her game, as she finally commits herself to the Pipeline Masters. On the day of Pipeline, Anne Marie wipes out during her first heat, but she advances to the next heat after narrowly beating pro surfer Kate Skarratt. She is shaken, but Matt tells her how he failed in his first game as an NFL quarterback, and this helps her get control of her wavering confidence.

Determined, although still apprehensive, Anne Marie returns to the water. Competing in the same heat is Keala Kennelly, one of the first professional female surfers. While Keala surfs the first few sets of waves well, Anne Marie is still reluctant to try one, visions of her near-drowning incident holding her back. Keala finishes her turn, then paddles back out to take Anne Marie under her wing. Keala encourages her to ride the best wave of the day, and Anne Marie rides it perfectly, managing to score a perfect ten. Although Anne Marie cannot advance to the next heat, she has regained her lost confidence and attracted the attention of sponsors, one of whom immediately offers to have her join the Billabong women's surf team.


Appearances from real-life surfers[edit]


Music from the Motion Picture Blue Crush
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedAugust 16, 2002
LabelVirgin Records
ProducerSteven Marley, Josh Debear, Moby, Don Great, Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Justin Stanley
  1. "If I Could Fall in Love" (4:23) – Lenny Kravitz
  2. "Rock Star (Jason Nevins Remix Edit)" (3:50) – N.E.R.D
  3. "Party Hard" (4:00) – Beenie Man
  4. "Cruel Summer (Blestenation Mix)" (5:13) – Blestenation
  5. "Big Love" (3:48) – Chicken Josh Debear (rap/vocals)
  6. "Daybreaker" (3:54) – Beth Orton
  7. "Everybody Got Their Something" (4:22) – Nikka Costa
  8. "Front To Back (Fatboy Slim Remix)" (3:53) – Playgroup
  9. "And Be Loved" (3:02) – Damian Marley
  10. "Destiny" (5:40) – Zero 7
  11. "Firesuite" (4:37) – Doves


Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes rated 61% of reviews from 142 critics as positive, with an average rating of 5.81/10. The site's consensus reads, "The surfing sequences are exhilarating, but the plot is pretty forgettable and trite."[4] Metacritic gave the movie a score of 61 based on 33 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[5]

On their weekly film recap show, Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper gave the film 3/4 stars.[6]

Box office[edit]

The film opened on 3,002 screens in the United States on August 18, 2002. It grossed $14.2 million and placed 3rd that opening weekend. It went on to gross $40.4 million in the U.S., and a total of $51.8 million worldwide. The film's estimated budget was $25 million.[7]

Blue Crush was the first film to use Hawaii's Act 221, a progressive local tax incentive that called for a 100 percent state tax credit for high-tech investments meeting the requirements for qualified high-tech business, while also allowing local investors to receive tax credits for investments in film or television productions.[8][9] Universal Studios used the legislation for the Blue Crush production, receiving approximately $16 million in a deal with local investors who, in exchange, received the film's high-tech tax credits. The agreement also involved marketing rights for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau whereby the studio would cross-promote the film and the State of Hawaii. Entertainment executive April Masini, who helped produce Baywatch: Hawaii, Pacific Blue, and the Miss Universe Pageant, brought the tax incentives to the attention of Universal Studios,[10] and along with producer Adam Fields advised the state in its negotiation.[8]


In October 2017, NBC was developing a television adaptation of the film.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Life's Swell" by Susan Orlean Archived September 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine the article the film is based on
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Blue Crush Reviews". Metacritic.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Blue Crush movie review & film summary (2002) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  7. ^ Box office/business for Blue Crush
  8. ^ a b Sing, Terrance (March 10, 2002). "Studio Trades Credit for Promos". Pacific Business News.
  9. ^ Stuart, Alex (March 1, 2003). "Surf's Up; Taxes Are Down". CFO Magazine. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  10. ^ Sing, Terrence (February 17, 2002). "Hollywood Heeds Call of High-Tech Tax Incentives". Pacific Business News.
  11. ^ "NBC Is Making a Blue Crush TV Show". Retrieved 3 March 2018.

External links[edit]