Bruce Brown, king of surfing documentaries, returns after nearly thirty years to trace the steps of two young surfers to top surfing spots around the world. Along the way we see many of the...
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The crown jewel to ten years of Bruce Brown surfing documentaries. Brown follows two young surfers around the world in search of the perfect wave, and ends up finding quite a few in addition to some colorful local characters.
Lord James Blears
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Bruce Brown, king of surfing documentaries, returns after nearly thirty years to trace the steps of two young surfers to top surfing spots around the world. Along the way we see many of the people and locales Bruce visited during the filming of Endless Summer (1966). Written by
Rick Morton <RNMorton@aol.com>
This is a sequel to the original film "Endless Summer" (1966). Number 2 echoes the same basic format, as voice-over narrator Bruce Brown follows two professional surfers, here "Wingnut" Weaver and Pat O'Connell, who travel around the world in search of the perfect surfing waves. The documentary inspires youthful idealism with its two young surfers and a theme of carefree innocence. A travelogue of local places in a non-American setting augments the surfing scenes.
Using 35-mm film, color cinematography is by far the best element, with terrific shots of surfers riding ocean waves from up close and from far away. The height, symmetry, and fluidity of the waves are inspiring. And some of Brown's narration is clever and funny.
Unfortunately, aside from the beautiful camera work, there's not much to this film. Watching surfers ride a wave is interesting for the first four or five minutes; then it starts to get monotonous. The two surfers are slightly annoying and stereotypical of hip California surfers only interested in having fun, sans responsibilities. Maybe that's intentional, to appeal to a youthful audience.
The travelogue of local cultures is frivolous, "cute", and highly contrived. And please, enough with the jargon; the word "stoked" was so overused, hearing it again and again made me want to turn the sound off. Does Brown not have a script editor? Frenetic background music also is irritating and could have been replaced with the natural sounds of the ocean.
Obviously, "Endless Summer 2" will appeal to viewers interested in surfing, and to those who gravitate to National Geographic documentaries of non-American cultures. My biggest complaint here, aside from the repetition and the "shallow" (so to speak) plot is that the film was made by and for surfer-centric specialists. Brown and company know what surfers like; if only they could make a comparable film aimed at a wider audience.
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