Sunday 21 February 2016

IMDb Bottom 100 Review - Number 36 Surf School

Another cesspool of filth starring every god forsaken child star and b-lister from the 90s and up. I’m amazed at the amount of “oh look it’s… that guy!” actors they’ve managed to scrounge up from the underbelly of Tinseltown that WEREN’T in last week’s pitiful attempt at a comedy slash surf movie. We are treated to a whole new array of faces known enough to be recognized but not remembered. The film is all about surfing raping convincing women that they are only truly worth something when they are reflected in the eyes of men. Just like God intended. So without further beating around the bush, fester your eyes on the following review of…

I forgot to mention didn't retain the memory of the monkey deflowering nerdy virgin boy, while virgin boy thought it was really a hot woman subplot. This picture should perfectly illustrate why.

Surf School (2006)

I’ve sat through some massive piles of poo in my time as a reviewer of the final inches of Hollywood’s colon. Where shitty movies go to live. But I’ve never been personally appalled at a movie until this one. Professionally offended, sure. Despite not actually being a professional. Annoyed at being taken for a fool? Absolutely. But felt violated on my cultural and humanistic views? Not until Surf School. The amount of misogyny and cultural appropriation they toss in here is absolutely astonishing. I’m a passionate person, but mostly internally. I ran out of expletives 55 minutes in, and by the end I had nearly sprained an eyeball from rolling them so much. I’ve seen bro-flicks before, and while the genre hasn’t ever truly appealed to me, I guess once or twice I have been lured into liking a movie by shallow characters and scantily clad women. And yet somehow those movies, none dimensional as they might be, felt like a Bergman masterpiece compared to this shitshow I witnessed tonight. I feel like a tumblr warrior in that I literally died several times during this flick, but was shocked back into coherence immediately after by another horrific character act.
Rip, ladies and gentlefolks. And yes, before you ask, that IS a water bottle effortlessly blending in with his other hair bling. And yes, he does drink from it. Funny stuff.

Surf school… what is it about even? The easy answer would be a surf school. But that’s not really true. There isn’t a surf school in this movie. There is a guy who supposedly teaches surfing, but it is never actually seen. He isn’t seen on a board at any point. I digress. In Surf School we meet Jordan showing off playing lacrosse. He is the most generic prep school douchebag quasi rapist looking dude I’ve seen yet. Like you can almost sense the khaki shorts and popped collar, obnoxiously hitting on girls with bros egging him on. Why are douchebags in movies almost always lacrosse players? I digress yet again. Despite being perfectly chiselled and the kind of guy for whom being an outsider is physically impossible, Jordan is an outsider. And because of that, he hangs out with the most rag tag gang of stereotypical high school outcasts. A goth dude with spikey hair, a black rapper (who would not normally be a part of a group like this but is here a token black dude), a nerdy skinny ultra white boy, the exchange student who doesn’t speak a word of English, and another gothy chick who outgoths the gothy dude by so much even he thinks she should dial it back a bit. These are our heroes in this film. Jordan has a full lacrosse scholarship that apparently isn’t contingent on him finishing high school, because he “just has to wait the next six months as a senior.” Then there is the annual senior’s trip to Costa Rica that is by invitation only. I’m not sure why. It magically coincides with the world championship in surfing. Or some large competition. Jordan gets his new friends to go.
Hot babe Jordan ditches. You can clearly see she is questioning what that flushing sound she's hearing is, and why it feels like her career is being tugged at in swirling motions.

In Costa Rica, they check into a hotel run by a couple of hippy expats still embracing the 60s sexual freedom and anti-establishment. Jordan wastes no time finding surfer bro Rip sleeping it off in a shithole of rare calibre, and hire him to teach them to surf. Because beating the cool kids at school is alpha omega here. Thankfully Rip comes out of completely shitfaced retirement to hook these kids up with one gamechanging victory. And all the while they are training to become surf pros in just mere days, it turns out crazy goth chick was really super attractive blond girl with a wig all along, and Jordan telling her he’d totally do her despite her looking like something the cat threw up got her thinking that she was worth something as a person all along. It’s Cinderella all over again. Only instead of mice singing and whistling one of the most catchy goddamn tunes of all time, we have that “Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina” kid from Kindergarten Cop saying stuff like “Rad!” and “far out” like he was Sean Penn out of Ridgemont High. School bullies are beaten at their own game, and every dude on the winning team hooks up with a hot babe, telling us all you need to do to get hot babes is win at something and they will be bestowed upon you along with a nice shiny trophy. Credits roll with ‘funny’ outtakes, and I’m left pondering who was the biggest douchebag here.
"Even though you aren't totally blond and you read books and you don't engage in mindless conversation and don't kiss my perfectly chiselled pecs every hour on the hour, I actually still think you are alright. Just.. dye your hair if you want to make a move."

Suffice to say I wasn’t impressed with this movie. And it’s not just the abject entitlement shit perpetuated in this and other movies of its ilk. Or the objectification of the girls here. It wasn’t even the stab at Scandinavia as home of the ever popular but criminally dumb blond. It’s just the entire feel of this film was creepy as fuck. Like almost every male in the cast came off as creepy. And every woman came off as dumb or simplistic. The story, or what’s left of it after one liners and failed attempts at humor have been removed, makes sense. Kind of. There is no amount my disbelief can be suspended that would make me accept that main guy Jordan wouldn’t just be accepted into the most popular group in high school at face value. The popular girl, that he ditches to be with scary goth chick turned perfectly blond, even says “We didn’t know you were this cool from the start or you would have been one of us”. Jordan moved in from Maryland (scary!) to California, and that made him weird and mockworthy. Well OK I get that. East coasters, right? But it’s still not believable. Then there is Rip who is a character in himself. He 'won' Ghost Babe as a prize, apparently, when he was surfing king. When they wake him from a drunken near paralytic state, he asks if it’s 1974 already? Yet later it’s revealed he won the surfing whatever in 1989. So that checks out. Also Ghost Babe in 1989 is identical to the Ghost Babe that shows up after the dudes win the surfing competition. It’s aggravating. Even for Ghost Babe that's just ludicrous. And I still feel like I’m not conveying my frustration properly here.
"Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina? No seriously, I'm asking you."

The entire movie is basically just a way to show that dudes turn into men by conquering women, but it’s wrapped up in this sugarcoated package that most closely resembles people sporting neckbeards and wearing fedoras who think just by virtue of not being a piece of shit they are entitled to ‘beat the friendzone.’ I can’t for the life of me get this mindset. I doubt the people who made this movie share that sentiment. Probably not a lot of it’s viewers do either. I fear the reason it’s on the Bottom 100 list isn’t the hidden sociological discrepancies but merely the fact that it’s just boring and stupid and pointless. And it certainly are those things. I’ll leave this discussion up to you guys for now, and delve into the cast list a bit. It’s always interesting (to me at least) to research what other stuff people who were involved in these movies have done. Sometimes it’s early infancy of a career and bad choices are made due to lack of experience. Sometimes it’s late in a career and bad choices are made to fund the coke and/or hooker habit. Sometimes it’s just because crappy movies is their lot in life. I mentioned that stupid looking little kid from Kindergarten Cop. He was also in Mercury Rising as, I’m sorry to say, the most annoying/least believable autistic kid ever put on the silver screen. I wanted to like that movie. I couldn’t. He annoyed me so much. And here he is, being kind of super annoying. Who would’ve thought. Also our friend from last week, and many other great and memorable times, Taylor Negron is back. He plays a Russian living in Costa Rica in this movie. In real life both his parents are Costa Rican. It must’ve been kind of a kick in the face for him. His wife here is played by Diane Delano, and if you think you know her face it’s probably because she seems to have had a part in every TV series ever produced. Not a big part mind you. Without being certain, I feel as if she is cast when you need an obnoxious mother character or perhaps a chubby female police officer for comedic relief. I was embarrassed for her and Taylor Negron in this movie. The outtakes at the end of the movie with them made me cringe pretty hard.
Taylor Negron... Why do you do this to us?

Fuck it, I’m almost out of actual stuff to say about this, but there are still characters in this flick worth mentioning, so here’s another paragraph dedicated to it. Rip is played by Harland Williams who I knew from both Dumb and Dumber and Something About Mary. He plays cop and serial killer respectively in those. I saw his name on the cast list for Surf School and thought “Oh well, he might be able to pull off a joke.” I haven’t been that wrong since I thought “Nobody would put a random shot of lamp oil on a bar counter” just before I drank, what turned out to be, a random shot of lamp oil that stood unattended on a bar counter. You know who else is in this movie? Sisqo. Yes, the guy who was featured in Will Smith’s Wild Wild West song/video and shortly after, riding on the coattails of Big Willie’s fame, came out with the, admittedly, catchy Thong Song. Amusingly enough, he makes a meta reference to his thong legacy in this movie, when he sees thong clad girls and exclaims “the songs I could write about those!” Hilarious. Laura Bell Bundy played crazy goth girl, and if you have no idea who she is, don’t go out and invest in a new brain just yet. She played the girl Robin Williams played Jumanji with (when they were kids) in the movie of that name. And then, true to the standard of all these ‘actors’, she’s been in a fuckload of tv shows. Not a lot of good ones, mind you. But tv shows none the same. I’ll finish this shit off with the main asshole - Jordan. Played by a guy named Corey Sevier. I know it’s unfair to judge a guy solely on how he looks, but this guy just comes off as the ‘my dad’s a lawyer and will get me out of any sexual assault charge you can throw at me’ type, and nothing he does in this movie makes me think otherwise. He’s been in a lot of stuff you’re like “Oh yes that movie I think I might have…. actually never heard of” about. I urge you not to watch this movie. It’ll make you feel filthy and like you need to shower. I tore my remaining hair off and cried under streams of scalding hot water for an hour after, and I still feel like somebody smeared fecal matter on my irises. 

In case you're still a little confused, please view exhibits A, B and C. These colorful still screens were opening this masterpiece. I don't think it's a joke.


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