In the movie, Johnny Kapahala, a teen snowboarding champion from Vermont, returns to Oahu, Hawaii, for the wedding of his hero -- his grandfather, local surf legend Johnny Tsunami -- and to... See full summary »
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Erik von Detten,
In the movie, Johnny Kapahala, a teen snowboarding champion from Vermont, returns to Oahu, Hawaii, for the wedding of his hero -- his grandfather, local surf legend Johnny Tsunami -- and to catch a few famous Kauai waves. When Johnny arrives, he meets his new family including "Uncle Chris" (the 12-year-old son of his new step-grandmother) who resents the upcoming marriage. Chris's only interest is to join a mountain boarding crew led by a teenage bully. When Johnny's grandfather and his new wife open a surf shop that also caters to mountain boarders, they are soon embroiled in a turf war with a rival shop owner who wants to shut their business down. Chris's antics cause complications for the store opening and the wedding, but eventually he reaches out to Johnny who helps Chris find his place within the new family and settle a turf war between the dueling sports shops. Written by
When a month ago I heard that the original Disney channel movie Johnny Tsunami(1998) was returning with a sequel, I was psyched. The original was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and to put it easily enough, I was excited to see an update.
Now, when the movie begins, we immediately reacquaint ourselves with Johnny Kapahala, now 17 and back in Hawaii to visit his famous virtuoso surfer Grandfather, whose getting married. Now at the start of the movie, I got a little confused at first. Johnny meets up with a friend who I had no clue was suppose to be Sam from the first Johnny Tsunami. Yeah, Lil' J replaces Lee Thompson Young from the first movie.
Now, in the first movie, Young played Sam Sterling, a snowboarder Johnny meets in Vermont, who shows him the ropes and what not. I thought he was the coolest character back then. Now 7 years later, his character seems to have faded, along with his look, which isn't Lee Thompson Young's fault. Lil' J doesn't look anything like Lee Thompson Young, and he doesn't even pull his character off good at all. I thought it was kind of funny how when Johnny and him meet up again, Johnny doesn't even try to make a good attempt at being overjoyed by seeing him again. It was like Bradon Baker was saying to himself, "Yeah, that's not Sam".
Simply enough, I think Young reprising his role would have definitely been better, and a note to any director or whatever making a sequel to a movie series: If you can't get the actor to play as the character from the previous movie, don't add the character in the script! Or at least find someone who looks like the guy! Thankfully, Sam's role is very small in the movie, so I don't care. The plot of the movie revolves around Johnny going back to Hawaii preparing for his Grandfather's wedding, and learning he has an uncle, whose 12. Yeah, the next annoying character in the movie is Chris, Johnny's 12-year old uncle. Chris is a misguided pre-teen generally getting into the wrong crowd, and Johnny's there to veer him away from that.
You'd think that since they're back in Hawaii, surfing would be the main sport in the movie. Whelp, it's not, it's dirt boarding, which is a welcome change, as it shows how interesting and fast-paced the sport can be.
All in all, Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board showed me my childhood is dying quickly, but is a decent sequel, even through it's shortcomings. 6/10
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