With images of cresting waves photographed from the inside out
accompanying intricately detailed showcasing of the greatest
isolated surfs the average person will never see, “Step into
Liquid” presents surfing as more akin to nature’s visual ecstasy
than extreme sport.

Surfer/director Dana Brown – son of Bruce Brown, the man who
brought the classic surfing documentary “Endless Summer” series to
screen – journeys from the Great Lakes to remote areas 100 miles
off the California coastline to capture the surfing world and the
people who love it. Featuring legends like Kelly Slater and
up-and-comers like Taj Burrow, Brown utilizes commentary from
generations of surfers to discuss the numerous positive attributes
of surfing.

As anyone would know just from watching crashing waves from a
distance, the cinematography is nothing short of captivating.
Special photography allows cameramen to begin shooting the surfers
above the water and follow them as the wave envelops the camera.
And when the surfing elite venture out into the mid-Pacific to take
on waves that tower over six-story buildings, the already inspiring
transforms into the uncanny.

However, where the look succeeds, the organization of the
documentary and the narration lack direction and unfortunately,
distract from the surfing imagery. Brown’s narration fits the
lackadaisical stereotype of surfers, but it doesn’t fit the film’s
message that surfers are more than lazy non-athletes.

Even without the narration, “Liquid” loses too much of its power
by squeezing as many locations and feel-good themes together. The
overt weepiness takes away from the joy of watching what’s most
important: the waves.

Though it strays along the way, “Liquid” will make you want to
do just that. So serene are the waves that they beckon even the
most timid viewers to “hang ten.” The shores of Hawaii, Australia
and Tahiti seem to call out, “Come in, the water’s just right.”

Rating: 3 stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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