Luke Harris and his friend Casey have one thing on their mind as they finish up their last year of high school: surf! But Luke’s parents are constantly pressuring him to grow up and choose a college for him to further his education. Luke is focused on making the local surf team and beating out a new ‘popular’ guy—not to mention getting the attention of the girl he likes—but little does Luke know that despite his own plans, God has plans for him that he could never imagine.
Production Quality (1 point)
Cutback is different from most Skipstone films, in that it is less artistic than usual. Video and audio quality are on par, yet the soundtrack is far too loud and tends to be too ‘surf’ oriented. There is also some shaky camera work in the action scenes. Outside scenes are otherwise relatively fine, and the sets and locations are acceptable. However, the editing leaves something to be desired as it falls into the sports film trap of including too many musical sports action montages. The good news is that the Skipstone team’s production skills did improve after this effort.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
Though Cutback is mostly a formulaic high school sports plot, there are some interesting twists and turns in the middle of the film that we did not see coming. At first, the dialogue is far too ‘cool’ and ‘surfer-dude’, almost to the point of embarrassment, and this creates very cheesy characters. However, this subsides as the movie goes on and they actually become believable characters. As usual, Johnny Remo and team deal with realistic life circumstances that really make the viewer think. The messaging of this story is quite good. However, though everything overall improves by the middle of the film, issues tend to be resolved too easily. Yet in the end, despite some errors, Cutback becomes a somewhat meaningful film.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
This cast is fairly professional, though sometimes they seem unsure and\or lazy. They also tend to play the whole ‘dude’ thing too much, but they are mostly fine. Emotions are believable and line delivery is average. Thus, an average score is warranted.
Like many Johnny Remo movies, we would like to see a remake of Cutback. It has the tools for success, even if they are not always applied properly. Remo always demonstrates a special creativity and ability to craft different types of films, but he is often hampered by a collection of small errors and some poor execution. We believe he and his team have great potential for the future as they continue to become better film makers. We anticipate what they have planned next.
Final Rating: 4 out of 10 points