SURF'S UP: Hang 10 There, Dudes!
Cast (voices): Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder, James Woods, Diedrich Bader
Directors: Ash Bannon and Chris Buck
Time: 85 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? "Surf’s Up" is the story of young Cody Maverick (voice of Shia LaBeouf) whose ambition is to be a champion surfer, just like his mentor and all-time hero Big Z (Jeff Bridges). When Cody is ‘discovered’ in his native Shiverpool in the Antarctica and ‘whisked’ off to Pen Gu island for the Big Z Memorial Surf-off tournament, he entertains hopes that he would follow in the footsteps of Big Z and make a name for himself.
He makes friends with fellow competitor Chicken Joe (Jon Heder) and a coy life-guard named Lani (Zooey Deschanel). However, an encounter with Tank Evans (Diedrich Bader), the defending champ and nine-time winner of the surf-off, seemingly puts an end to his dreams of surfing grandeur. What remains is Cody’s new relationship with Lani’s uncle, Geek, a laid-back former surfing champ who reluctantly tutors Cody the way Mr Miyagi did in "The Karate Kid".
HIGHLIGHTS & LOWLIGHTS: The mock-documentary style of story-telling may not work well with young children at whom this comedy is targeted. However, the reality TV approach allows the scripters to weave some character-parodies into the plot fabric. The most notable of these is the spiky-haired otter, Reggie Belafonte (voiced by the gruff James Woods), an animated version of fight-promoter Don King.
THE LOWDOWN: To round up, let me state that "Surf’s Up" is not a story about penguins. It is about having fun and playing the game, which is more important than winning. So if you feel like taking the plunge, hit the waves and hang ten there, dudes!