thepecfectwaveWorld’s Smallest Handcuff
The Perfect Wave
(available on Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital Download and On Demand Sept. 16) 
Stars: Scott Eastwood, Cheryl Ladd, Patrick Lyster, Rachel Hendrix, Matt Bromley, Scott Mortensen, Nikolai Mynhardt, Jack Halloran and Rosy Hodge
Director: Bruce Macdonald
Scriptwriters: Billy Wood and Roger Hawkins
Cinematography: Trevor Michael Brown
Composer: Jeremy Soule
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rating: PG 13
Running Length: 94 minutes
The perfect wave is just that, a perfect surfing wave for those who love the sport of standing on a piece of wood and trying to out-race a wave the height of a tall, tall building. Danger?  Yes, it is just you and the water and a slippery piece of wood, waxed at that. This sets the stage for the true story of now- minister Ian McCormack, and his conversion from surfer dude to clergy. Starring as McCormack, is Scott Eastwood (Clint Eastwood is his Dad), who will be going from “The Perfect Wave” to Brad Pitt’s army film  “Fury” later in the year. Cheryl Ladd (“Charlie’s Angels”) stars as Scott’s mother, who had a religious personal experience earlier in her life and now is deeply religious.
"The Perfect Wave" begins in New Zealand about twenty years ago, as Ian is into partying and surfing, with an easy manner and searching for the “true freedom of the perfect wave.” Life is dull there, so on a moment’s notice, Ian and his surfing friend, Greg (Jack Halloran) sell Ian’s car, take the money and decide to search the water world for giant waves.  Thus begins a travelogue of places they visit from Darwin, Australia (people have accents) to Indonesia and then South Africa, where Ian, up to now without a girlfriend, meets Annabel (Rachel Hendrix) and decides to seriously date her. Annabel has issues about a personal loss and this comes between them. Marriage at this time is spoken about as a wedding band being the world’s smallest handcuff. Eventually, Annabel leaves for an island in the Indian Ocean, and with help from her brother-in-law, Ian follows. Greg has met his girlfriend, Roxy (Rosy Hodge) and lags behind. While on the island, Ian is bitten by a jellyfish and is in serious trouble. Mom, back in New Zealand, knows something is wrong immediately. However, with drug use prevalent among the surfing crowd, when Ian needs help, people think he is on drugs instead of  being slowly poisoned. What to do?
With a story of having a second chance at life, the movie takes a long time to get there. There are enough beach party scenes, both day and night, to let you know the easy life style that can go on for surfers. Cheryl Ladd’s Mom is the basis for religion in her family and they seem to humor her on this point, an “it’s there if I ever need it” point of view. Scott Eastwood does the role of Ian well, but when he is on the beach, the ocean and waves take first place. Cheryl Ladd lets you know that she is sincere in her beliefs and anchors the scenes she is in. Rachel Hendrix as Annabel is in an emotional turmoil but you don't perceive it. I would have preferred fewer party scenes and more of how Ian changed. It is difficult to be an actor in a travelogue-type movie such as "The Perfect Wave," because there is always a distraction, either the ocean or a near-by party going on. Everyone does the best they can.
“The Perfect Wave” sometimes has an unevenness to it, because of going from one location to another.  It is like scenes in a play. Just when you get interested in one set of surroundings, it is off to another. Cinematography is well done and the audience feels as though they are in the water with the actors. Soundtrack is appropriate, too, from the time period of 25 years ago, and the clothing budget for the film must have been practically nothing, since it is beach towels and bathing suits.
*Note: The DVD does have interviews with the director, a music video and other extras. A devotional by Ian McCormack is also available on a special
Copyright 2014 Marie Asner 
For more film reviews of water sports and surfing, see the following: