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The story follows the relationship between Cody, a young, up-and-coming surfer who thinks that becoming a champion will bring him the respect he feels he deserves, and Big Z, the onetime legendary surfer who everybody thinks has passed on, but in fact has been living alone as a hermit for the past decade.
USA TodayFull Review Above Average It's not exactly awash in cleverness, but it is good clean fun for the family. Though Cody's character has some rather annoyingly bratty moments, adults will get a kick out of Bridges' recognizable laid-back old surfer.
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OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 64 moviegoers:
CHILDREN:As expected, children loved "Surf's Up," but they tend to love every movie targeted at them. I certainly recommend it for children. It will easily keep all but the littlest moviegoer constantly entertained.
TEENS:Great opinions from both males and females. Highly recommended.
TWENTYSOMETHINGS and ADULTS:Over half truly enjoyed this movie and most of the remaining opinions are decent so I certainly have no problem Highly Recommending "Surf's Up" as a GREAT FAMILY MOVIE!
As soon as there was the first wave, there was the first surfer. All you needed
was a piece of driftwood, or a block of ice -- and you were off, you were riding.
They were hooked, man, they were hooked – they couldn't stop. And they just
passed it on and passed it on, handed that surf gene down all the way through
the days. Up ‘til recent times, you had your old dudes, your "hang six” cats, these
old guys that used to lay down with huge, humongous boards. These guys were
the pioneers. But nobody saw what surfing could really be until Big Z did it.
Who was Big Z? You're asking the right guy, you got that far. Z is everything. Big
Z is surfing. There may as well not have been an ocean before Z. They invented
the ocean for him. He lived so hard because he wasn't afraid to live, and he
wasn't afraid to die. He came to Antarctica when I was just a kid. Man, it was the
biggest thing that ever happened here. And suddenly there he was. Just floating
over the water, just hovering, like weightless. He could have walked up to
anyone…and he walks right up to me. And he gives me this awesome, one of a
kind Big Z necklace. Then he tells me, "No matter what, find a way, ‘cause that's
what winners do.” He was the greatest. Everyone looked up to him, respected
him, loved him. And one day… one day I'm gonna be just like him.
– Cody Maverick, up-and-coming surfer and
star of Surf's Up
The film profiles teenage Rockhopper
penguin Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf), an up-and-coming surfer, as he enters
his first pro competition. Followed by a camera crew to document his
experiences, Cody leaves his family and home in Shiverpool, Antarctica to travel
to Pen Gu Island for the Big Z Memorial Surf Off. Along the way, Cody meets
Sheboygan surfer Chicken Joe (Jon Heder), famous surf promoter Reggie
Belafonte (James Woods), surf talent scout Mikey Abromowitz (Mario Cantone),
and spirited lifeguard Lani Aliikai (Zooey Deschanel), all of whom recognize
Cody's passion for surfing, even if it's a bit misguided at times. Cody believes
that winning will bring him the admiration and respect he desires, but when he
unexpectedly comes face-to-face with a washed-up old surfer (Jeff Bridges),
Cody begins to find his own way, and discovers that a true winner isn't always
the one who comes in first.