Blue Crush is a 2002 sports film that centers around Anne Marie, a blonde surfer, who lives on the North Shore of Hawaii and struggles with self-confidence before and during the Pipeline Masters surfing competition. The film can also be classified as an extreme sports film because the majority of the film—including its climax—takes place at the Banzai Pipeline.
This article will discuss the themes of extreme sports, risking safety, and self-confidence.
The Banzai Pipeline, also known as "Pipeline" or "Pipe," is one of the most popular surf spots on Hawaii's North Shore. The characteristics of the Pipeline are strong swells, giant waves at around 9 feet tall, and jagged, underwater lava spires that can injure fallen surfers. Anne Marie enters the Pipeline Masters so she can gain enough sponsors to lift her and her friends Lena and Eden out of poverty but has fears of dying after suffering a near-fatal wipe out when she was younger. Flashbacks of Anne Marie as a child star surfer and the wipe out are shown at the beginning of the film, which shows viewers the source of Anne Marie's main struggles throughout Blue Crush.
Other characteristics of the Pipeline are the signs indicating where swimmers are forbidden to swim in those waters, as the giant waves and underwater lava spires can easily make swimmers drown, thus making the spot suitable only for skilled surfers. These signs are shown several times during Pipeline Masters competition. Surfing at this location can be considered an extreme sport; Pipeline has been called one of the world's deadliest waves because many surfers have died or been seriously injured there.
Anne Marie starts to doubt herself and question whether she will perform well at Pipeline Masters, especially when she is still haunted by the memory of the wipe out. Her doubt is shown several times in Blue Crush. When she surfs at the Pipeline the first time, her fears get the best of her, and she falls off her surfboard when she catches the giant wave.
Despite her friends' encouragements to try to become a professional surfer again, Anne Marie is still shaken when she feels that she will die at the Pipeline; viewers can see that she is scared for her own safety. This shaking feeling is shown during the first heat of Pipeline Masters, when Anne Marie wipes out on a gigantic wave. A football player named Matt, whom Anne Marie falls in love with, shares his experiences and failures as an NFL quarterback, which helps her regain her confidence as a surfer.
Anne Marie returns to the Pipeline still shaken but with determination to perform well. Although she didn't advance into the next heat, she is able to overcome her fears of drowning and get a perfect score. She didn't care about winning the contest, but she did care about regaining her lost confidence, resolving the plot.
What makes Blue Crush a PG-13 rated movie is some sexual content, teen partying and teen language present throughout the entire film, which may be inappropriate for younger viewers. Though Blue Crush has been praised for surfing scenes, many consider the plot to be somewhat forgettable. Overall, Blue Crush is a film for people who are fans of extreme sports.