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Billabong Odyssey (2003)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 434 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 8 user | 17 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

Action sports documentary that follows the industry's best big wave surfers as they travel the world searching for the largest waves that nature has to offer. The journey spanned 18 months, 6 continents and produced up to 70 foot waves.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shawn Barron ...
Himself - Surfer (as Shawn 'Barney' Barron)
Fred Basse ...
Himself - Surfer
Layne Beachley ...
Herself - Surfer
Ken Bradshaw ...
Himself - Surfer
Carlos Burle ...
Himself - Surfer
Taj Burrow ...
Himself - Surfer
Nick Carroll ...
Himself
Jeff Clark ...
Himself
Ken Collins ...
Himself - Surfer (as Ken 'Skindog' Collins)
Sean Collins ...
Himself - Surfline
Alistair Craft ...
Himself (as Alister Craft)
Vetea David ...
Himself
...
Himself (as Craig Davidson)
Shane Dorian ...
Himself
Mark Foo ...
Himself - Surfer (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

Action sports documentary that follows the industry's best big wave surfers as they travel the world searching for the largest waves that nature has to offer. The journey spanned 18 months, 6 continents and produced up to 70 foot waves.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The search for the world's biggest wave. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 March 2004 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Billabong el reto  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$54,000 (USA) (7 November 2003)

Gross:

$54,000 (USA) (7 November 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Dateline NBC (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Tahiti Drums
Written by Dorian Cheah and Ken Roberts
Performed by Dorian Cheah and Ken Roberts
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"The biggest wave in history"
5 November 2009 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

"In a world that was so regimented in the 1960s, surfing was freedom," says Ken Bradshaw, a 49-year-old Texan who in 1998 surfed the biggest recorded wave in history. Bradshaw's just one of the elite featured here - an oddball collection of rock 'n' rollers, thrill-seekers and hermits. For these men and women the sport seems almost sexual, with their talk of "thrusts", "swells" and "peaks".

Like latter-day Argonauts, the search for surf takes them across the globe, and the rewards - personal or pecuniary - are staggering. To carry the analogy, if Brad Gerlach, once ranked number two in the world until he unexpectedly quit, is Jason, then Mike Parsons (Gerlach's arch-rival) is the crew's Orpheus, monkish and self-contained. And it's Parsons who tops and tails the film, surfing a 70 foot wave - named Cyclops, after the one-eyed monster in 'The Odyssey' - before the might of nature crashes down upon him. For that feat, at 'Jaws' in Hawaii, he'd win a perfect 10 and make surfing history.

But this is more than a Who's Who of surfers: interspersed with personal stories - from the likes of Ken 'Skindog' Collins, one of the 'Santa Cruz Boys' who surf all day and party all night. We discover how being a surfer in the 1980s meant being a corporate whore - as Gerlach, pictured in flashback festooned with sponsorship labels, more walking advertisement than human, soon discovered.

If the 1990s saw advances in weather forecasting, computer technology pinpointing bigger waves with a high degree of accuracy, we also learn how water-sports are now cross-pollinating, combining aspects of gliding and snowboarding. It's a truly transcendental moment as "'surf-scientist' Rush Randle demonstrates aerial-acrobatics on his hydrofoil board, affording the film a quiet majesty all too often interrupted by an MTV rock soundtrack.

The cinematography is incredible, but this stuff would look impressive on home video. Importantly, the dangers of surfing are made perfectly clear: in surfing spots that translate as "Broken Skulls" in Tahitian, it's shocking to suddenly see the odd flash of crimson amid the blue, white and green.


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