Ian McCormack has always been in search of adventure and has always wanted to escape from what he perceives to be confining, namely responsibility and the domestic life. After selling his car, he finally convinces his parents that as an adult, he needs to go out into the world and ‘find himself’. An avid surfer, Ian has always been searching for one elusive thing: what he considers to be ‘the perfect wave’. So he journeys from one surfing landmark to the next, along with a group of buddies, in order to find what he is looking for. But his journey changes one day when he finds Anabel, a mysterious girl living in Indonesia. He has never truly loved before, so when Anabel disappears, he feels like he has to search for her. But what he doesn’t know is that what he has been searching for all along is something to fill the void in his soul. Little does he realize that he will have to come face to face with what he really believes about the God he has only heard about as a child.
Production Quality (2 points)
For a freshman movie, The Perfect Wave is a great start in the production department. The sets and locations, perhaps the central factor of the movie, are excellently chosen and presented. The camera work is great, including skillful action shots and clear video quality. The musical score is decent. The only two caveats that keep this film’s production from being all that it could are the choppy editing and the inconsistent sound quality. Sometimes dialogue is hard to hear because of loud background noise. The editing confuses the viewer—too many things happen off screen that should be on the screen, and vice versa. Yet despite these problems, The Perfect Wave puts many Christian movies to shame when it comes to production quality.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
The true story of Ian McCormack was definitely one worth portraying on the big screen. However, after watching the story play out, we were left with the feeling that something was missing. The story is non-linear, which is not surprising for a film portraying true events, and the characters are obviously flawed, but this plot just didn’t quite make it all the way. There are some surprising twists and turns, but the dialogue is inconsistent—sometimes profound and sometimes simplistic. Some characters seem unnecessary. There is bit too much edgy content. But in the end, there is a great Christian message. It seems like the movie was written for its psychologically thrilling end that clearly communicates the gospel. The end is worth waiting for, but some people will be lost in the middle. Overall, the plot is average and had a lot of room for improvement.
Acting Quality (2 points)
With a professional cast, The Perfect Wave scores plenty of points here. Scott Eastwood and Rachel Hendrix are great in their roles, but some others leave something to be desired. Granted, this is still an above-average cast, but it seems like more could have accomplished with greater acting.
More obscure true stories like this one need to be adapted to movies for multiple reasons. For one, they are better than writing another small town made-for-Hallmark romance. For another, they let both Christian and non-Christian audiences know that God is at work in the lives of many different types of people. God can work however He wishes, and The Perfect Wave shows this. The unfortunate thing is that this movie was not good enough to be considered Hall of Fame, yet it is still a movie worth watching. We look forward to what is next on the agenda for Bruce MacDonald and company.
Final Rating: 5.5 out of 10 points