Blue Crush is a 2002 sports film directed by John Stockwell and based on Susan Orlean's Outside magazine article "Life's Swell".[3] The film stars Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Sanoe Lake and Mika Boorem, and tells the story of three friends who have one passion: living the ultimate dream of surfing on Hawaii's famed North Shore.

Blue Crush
Blue Crush Movie Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Stockwell
Produced byBrian Grazer
Screenplay byLizzy Weiss
John Stockwell
Story byLizzy Weiss
Based onThe Maui Surfer Girls
1998 Women Outside
by Susan Orlean[1][2]
StarringKate Bosworth
Michelle Rodriguez
Matthew Davis
Sanoe Lake
Mika Boorem
Music byPaul Haslinger
CinematographyDavid Hennings
Edited byEmma E. Hickox
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
August 16, 2002
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States, Germany
Budget$25 million
Box office$55 million


Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth), Eden (Michelle Rodriguez) and Lena (Sanoe Lake) are best friends. They raised Anne Marie's 14-year-old sister, Penny (Mika Boorem), ever since their mother took off to Las Vegas with a boyfriend who was uncomfortable with the idea of having the two girls come along. While Penny is at school, Anne Marie, Eden and Lena work as maids at a large resort hotel, but more importantly, they are surfers. Anne Marie rises every morning before dawn to train for her surfing comeback, and was once considered a rising star in women's surfing and competed as a youth, but an extreme wipeout and near-drowning incident temporarily halted her career, and left her with deep-seated fears. Her friends, especially Eden, have encouraged her to try it again.

Anne Marie has been invited to join in an upcoming surf competition at the famed North Shore surf spot, Pipeline. She hopes to gain the attention of sponsors and get herself and her friends out of the near-poverty they are living in. As the Pipeline competition gets closer, she struggles to keep Penny under control and deal with her own personal issues.

At work, Anne Marie meets and catches the eye of Matt Tollman (Matthew Davis), a National Football League quarterback in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl (it is hinted that he plays for the Minnesota Vikings). Matt is there with several of his rowdy teammates and instantly becomes attracted to the surfer. Through a series of "chance" encounters, she agrees to teach him how to surf for $150 per hour, and brings Lena, Eden and Penny along for the ride. When she goes to Matt's hotel room to get the money, they kiss as a call comes and Anne suspects that it is his wife but he promises it is his niece. Later they sleep together. Her acceptance of a non-local begins to cause friction between her and many of the young men in her surfing social circle. Anne Marie faces more problems when she and Eden argue about Anne Marie's lack of dedication to training for the Pipeline contest due to the sudden appearance of Matt. She also has to hear demeaning comments from several of the other football players' wives and girlfriends staying at the hotel about how she is undergoing the "Matt Tollman makeover" while attending a luau at the resort.

Anne Marie confronts Matt about their situation and soon resolves to step up her game, as she finally commits herself to the Pipeline Masters. On the day of Pipeline, Anne Marie wipes out during her first heat, but advances to the next heat after narrowly beating pro surfer Kate Skarratt. She is shaken, but Matt tells her a story about his first game as an NFL quarterback and helps her regain her wavering confidence. Determined, but still afraid, Anne Marie returns to the water. Competing in the same heat is Keala Kennelly, one of the first professional female surfers, playing herself. While Keala surfs the first few sets of waves without wipe-outs, Anne Marie still has inhibitions about riding one, visions of another near-drowning incident holding her back. Keala finishes her turn, then paddles out and takes Anne Marie under her wing and encourages her to take the best wave of the day, on which Anne Marie manages to score perfectly. Although she does not advance to the next heat, she has regained her lost confidence, but also attracted the notice of sponsors, one of which includes an offer to join the Billabong women's surf team.


Appearances from real-life surfersEdit


Music from the Motion Picture Blue Crush
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedAugust 16, 2002
LabelVirgin Records
ProducerSteven Marley, Josh Debear, Moby, Don Great, Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Justin Stanley
  1. "If I Could Fall in Love" (4:23) – Lenny Kravitz
  2. "Rock Star (Jason Nevins Remix Edit)" (3:50) – N.E.R.D
  3. "Party Hard" (4:00) – Beenie Man
  4. "Cruel Summer (Blestenation Mix)" (5:13) – Blestenation
  5. "Big Love" (3:48) – Chicken Josh Debear (rap/vocals)
  6. "Daybreaker" (3:54) – Beth Orton
  7. "Everybody Got Their Something" (4:22) – Nikka Costa
  8. "Front To Back (Fatboy Slim Remix)" (3:53) – Playgroup
  9. "And Be Loved" (3:02) – Damian Marley
  10. "Destiny" (5:40) – Zero 7
  11. "Firesuite" (4:37) – Doves


Anne Marie's last name "Chadwick" is a nod to the Elvis Presley 1961 movie Blue Hawaii. Where his characters first name is Chadwick.


Critical responseEdit

The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics.

Rotten Tomatoes rated 61% of reviews from 142 critics as positive, with the site's consensus that "The surfing sequences are exhilarating, but the plot is pretty forgettable and trite."[4]

On their weekly movie recap show, Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper gave the film 3/4 stars.[5]

Box officeEdit

The film opened on 3,002 screens in the United States on August 18, 2002. It grossed $14.2 million and placed 3rd that opening weekend. It went on to gross $40.4 million in the U.S., and a total of $51.8 million worldwide. The film's estimated budget was $25 million.[6]

Blue Crush was the first film to use Hawaii's Act 221, a progressive local tax incentive that called for a 100 percent state tax credit for high-tech investments meeting the requirements for qualified high-tech business, while also allowing local investors to receive tax credits for investments in film or television productions.[7][8] Universal Studios used the legislation for the Blue Crush production, receiving approximately $16 million in a deal with local investors who, in exchange, received the film's high-tech tax credits. The agreement also involved marketing rights for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau whereby the studio would cross-promote the film and the State of Hawaii. Entertainment executive April Masini, who helped produce Baywatch: Hawaii, Pacific Blue, and the Miss Universe Pageant, brought the tax incentives to the attention of Universal Studios,[9] and along with producer Adam Fields advised the state in its negotiation.[7]


In October 2017, NBC was developing a television adaptation of the film.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Life's Swell" by Susan Orlean Archived September 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine the article the film is based on
  4. ^
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Blue Crush movie review & film summary (2002) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  6. ^ Box office/business for Blue Crush
  7. ^ a b Sing, Terrance (March 10, 2002). "Studio Trades Credit for Promos". Pacific Business News.
  8. ^ Stuart, Alex (March 1, 2003). "Surf's Up; Taxes Are Down". CFO Magazine. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  9. ^ Sing, Terrence (February 17, 2002). "Hollywood Heeds Call of High-Tech Tax Incentives". Pacific Business News.
  10. ^ "NBC Is Making a Blue Crush TV Show". Retrieved 3 March 2018.

External linksEdit