I can’t recall seeing any marketing for Soul Surfer, aside from the poster featuring the shark-bitten surfboard. I’m familiar enough with the story since the poster recalls the cover of the book the movie is based on, and while I haven’t read the book any more than I’ve seen the movie, I do at least know the basis of the story.
I fully expect Soul Surfer appeals to a certain audience, but apparently nobody in our writing staff is part of that audience, as nobody jumped up at the opportunity to spend their hard-earned money on a ticket for a film whose biggest bragging right is being the platform where Carrie Underwood makes her acting debut: Miss “Jesus Take the Wheel” in a movie about Christian faith. Makes sense, but still not enough to get our staff into a theater seat.
The critics have been mixed on their response to the movie, which currently holds a split 50% at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s some snippets of both the good and the bad:
“An inspiring tale, even when true, doesn’t necessarily make for an inspiring movie.” – Rick Groen, Globe and Mall
“Although the question of why God allows bad things to happen is sometimes handled clumsily, it is approached sincerely, and it clearly points to the difference faith can make.” – Carolyn Arends, Christianity Today
“Soul Surfer is the best faith-based film ever made, an uplifting, entertaining and wonderfully-acted account of surfer Bethany Hamilton’s life before and after a shark bit her arm off in the waters off her favorite Hawaiian beach.” – Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
So now you’ve heard the critical word, but that’s all we can offer since we’re not seeing it. Maybe you’ve taken it in and would like to sound off on the movie. Well, that’s what “Write Your Own Review”s are for. Give the movie your star-rating and offer up your review in the comment section below. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the convincing force that finally gets one of us to catch Soul Surfer in theaters.