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Review: Soul Surfer (2011)

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Free advanced screenings could make me go see anything. Even if it’s a movie I would otherwise never see. Case in point; Soul  Surfer, a teen-directed, real life story of  Bethany Hamilton, who’s life gets drastically altered after a shark attack leaves her with one arm. To simplify things, lets just split this into a pros and cons list. Everybody loves lists, right?

On the negative side of things, is the entire movie. It’s not meant to be widely popular. It is supposed to make teen girls say, “I want to see that”. So commercials weren’t running on ESPN, if you know what I mean. More on this in the pros list. Secondly, Carrie Underwood. The entire adult cast is great, especially Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt playing Hamilton’s parents, even Ana Sophia Robb herself plays a solid lead. However, the few scenes Carrie Underwood appears in as the youth pastor at Hamilton’s church, were plenty cringe worthy (and not in the good “The Office” way). Let’s just stick to singing, shall we Carrie?

Now on to the positives. First off, did you see how short the cons were? That right there is enough to be a pro. As much as the story has the possibility to be a complete flop, it somehow delivers to be a forgettable-to-rent on dvd movie. To me, that is amazing. If nothing else, watch just for the beautiful Hawaiian scenery and some great surfing footage. As for the actual shark attack that you know is going to happen? They actually handle it quite well, and kept the suspense, even though it is pretty obvious what is going to happen.

Rating: B-


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