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Release Date: July 11, 2014
Director: Bruce MacDonald
Writers: Roger Hawkins, William A. Wood III
Cast: Scott Eastwood, Cheryl Ladd, Patrick Lyster, Rachel Hendrix, Scott Mortensen, Nikolai Mynhardt, Diana Vickers, Matt Bromley, and Rosy Hodge.
Our Rating: 18+ for mature themes
[column size=one_half position=last ]The Perfect Wave opens with Ian doing what he loves best- surfing. While watching a documentary on television, Ian comes up with the perfect summertime plan- to travel all over in search of the perfect wave. His plan seems idyllic.
With his close friend on board, Ian sells his car, and informs his parents of his summertime plans to surf. His parents are less than thrilled at the news as they were hoping that Ian would mature over the summer. Ian is twenty-four, has no steady employment, and wants to party all the time. They feel that he needs to grow up and to stop being so rebellious. Unfortunately, their plans are not Ian’s plans. Ian only lives for today, not tomorrow.
Another topic that they clash on is their belief in Christ. A flashback reveals a time when Ian renounced Christ to his mother and said that he “didn’t feel anything when he was confirmed- nothing special, no different, and that God didn’t speak to him.” He tells his mother that church is for her, and not for him. At a young age, Ian says that he doesn’t believe there is a God, and that he doesn’t want to attend church any more.
Ian’s mom, somewhat saddened by the news, tells her son to remember one thing; that God loves you no matter what you do, and no matter what trouble you get into, God is always there. This is something that sticks with Ian.
Ian is excited to begin his adventure, and sets off to different locations to find the perfect wave. He is enjoying a very worldly life, and to him, it’s perfect. He parties, surfs, hooks up with girls, and does as he wants. Ian even eventually falls for Annabelle, and follows her wherever she wants to go- even leaving his friend behind just to be with her.
Things turn sour once she experiences his jealousy and she leaves him. What Ian doesn’t know is that she is searching for meaning and who she is even more than he is. Ian ended up loosing the woman he loves.
In pain, he follows her to a tropical paradise where he’s hoping she will be so that he can apologize, and this is where his life is changed forever in an accident which plunges him into a situation of spiritual life, or death. Which road will Ian choose? Confronted with the possibility of a life in heaven or hell, what will Ian do? He doesn’t believe God exists!
At home, his mom has a vision that her son is in trouble. On her knees, she cries out to God. Are her prayers enough to intercede on her son’s behalf?
This movie is ideal for people who don’t know Christ, or who have turned from Him. Ian exemplified the “Prodigal Son” except his inheritance came from the sale of his car. Unbelievers can identify with Ian’s lifestyle, and will draw them in immediately. They will quickly become engrossed in the plot as it is action packed, and fast moving.
The plot is so relatable to most non-believers between the ages of about late teen to late twenties that by the time “faith” shows up, they are so engrossed in the movie that they become captivated in the message without even knowing it. Yes, the acting and writing are that good!
Rating it is a little challenging given the context of the movie. It is designed to reach the far from Christ with a powerful message of God’s love, which is does beautifully. However, there is a very active party scene which creates the backdrop of the story. The first half of the movie is very worldly- but it is a testimony, and a powerful one at that.
Given in proper context, for the unbeliever, I would give it five out of five stars. It will deeply impact them. However, for Christians, I would rate it a four out of five due to the reasons listed below.
Things to be aware of:
Lewdness/lust: The boys are seen eyeing up women. It is evident that they are only thinking of one thing.
Impure Thoughts/Sexual Impurity: Hookups are discussed. It is evident that different characters are sleeping with the opposite sex. Women are wearing bikinis. Very sexually charged. To the movies credit, the clash between the Christian lifestyle and worldly lifestyle are accurately portrayed.
Party Spirit/Drunkenness/Revelries: Clubbing at bars, parties, drinking, drugs are hinted at.
Things to note:
Even though you know the characters are having sex, no nudity or sexual relations are portrayed. No drugs are seen, just hinted at. Most of the lifestyle, except for the clubbing and drinking end of it, is mentioned in conversations, but not in actual footage.
Many thanks to Heidi McDow with A Larry Ross Communications for providing us with the opportunity to view this film.