Soul Surfer Blu-ray review

            Soul Surfer is an inspiring true story of Bethany Hamilton, the young girl who lost an arm in a shark attack but continued to surf. Not only did she continue surfing, but she went on to become a professional surfer. The film version of this experience is exactly what you might expect, with a little dash of religion sprinkled in as a message.

Although the script for this was bound to be inspirational and moving, Soul Surfer drowns the audience in saccharine material at every chance it gets. This is only saved by a few great performances, though the less experienced and talented are destroyed by the poorly written script. Carrie Underwood gives perhaps the most atrocious film debut ever given by a musical performer, and that isn’t even all the script’s fault.

            AnnaSophia Robb stars as Bethany, carrying the film with her strength more than her ability to show sadness. Somehow I can believe that she is the kind of person who would be relentlessly determined to get back in the water again, even after a shark attack. Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid are also entirely believable as the caring parents, unable to do enough to help their daughter struggle with the changes survival brings.

            The Blu-ray also includes deleted scenes and three behind-the-scenes featurettes. There is also a documentary which is focused much more the real Hamilton, who also adds a featurette about professional surfing to the collection. The high definition presentation is also significantly used in the gorgeous Hawaiian setting.

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