There are some projects that are just bad ideas. You get the most brilliant writers around and they might be passable films but the ideas are bad. Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania is one of those films. It’s just a bad idea from beginning to end. It’s such a bad idea that Sony, the studio behind Smurf’s 2 and the Emoji Movie, didn’t even have the confidence to release it in the theater. It is an absolutely atrocious film in every way including the fact it stinks up a charming original film.
After all, Surf’s Up was nominated for an Oscar back in 2007. It was a unique little animated mockumentary about a Antarctic penguin who dreams of becoming a professional surfer. It’s not the greatest movie ever made but for what it is, it is an enjoyable watch. The writing is particularly good as it pokes fun at sports documentaries and movies.
Unfortunately all of the appeal of the original film is lost in this terrible sequel. The problems start with the premise. WWE stars play a group called The Hang 5 that Cody idolizes. This doesn’t jive with the original documentary because then his motivation was surfing not the Hang 5.
Even if I ignore that continuity problem, the premise is terrible. The Hang 5 are voiced by WWE wrestlers including John Cena, The Undertaker, Triple H and more. This stunt casting does nothing for the story except for to provide a couple of inside jokes that I did not understand.
Cody does hardly any surfing in the movie and it feels like it keeps reinventing itself every 10 minutes. One minute it is Indiana Jones, another it is Mission Impossible or Point Break. The list could go on. None of these characters have any charisma or personality
Jeremy Shada steps in for Shia LaBeoulf as Cody and you can tell. All of the voice acting feels bored but it is tough since the characters aren’t written in an interesting or satisfying way.
About 1/3rd of way through they are in the desert looking for some clue and I had no idea what they were doing with it but not in a good way. For most of it I was extremely bored and disengaged and I didn’t laugh at all
Normally I would be able to recommend something like this to kids but I really can’t here. There is absoloutely nothing for a child’s intellect or creativity in all of this nonsense.
The animation isn’t even very good. It looks cheap because it was cheap.
I feel like I should have more to say on Surf’s Up 2 but I honestly don’t. It wasn’t funny, engaging, well executed or anything like the original film.
I just have to say to the WWE= get the heck out of my animated film!
Overall Grade- D-