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Surf's Up

Surf's Up wipes out
By ALICIA POTTER  |  June 6, 2007
1.5 1.5 Stars

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for Surf's Up.

Is it coincidence or homage that a fat, sullen penguin in this animated dud resembles Michael Moore? Likely the latter, as directors Ash Brannon and Chris Buck meld Happy Feet, The Endless Summer, and This Is Spinal Tap into the first CGI “mockumentary.” Surfing rockhopper Cody Maverick (voice of Shia LaBeouf) dreams of dominating the sport like his hero Big Z, who died in competition . . . or didhe? As the film sets up this “mystery,” it cheekily spoofs such de rigueur documentary fodder as scratchy footage and talking heads. Yet the promising jolt of satire fizzles when Cody and his cringeworthy chicken sidekick (Jon Heder) take on Big Z’s nemesis. Dreary and devoid of laughs, the film can’t sustain its disparate influences (the “camera crew” come and go like the tide), and it resorts to the obligatory platitudes and gastrointestinal gags plus a gratuitous flirtation (Zooey Deschanel, batting her eyelashes even as a bird). Despite some impressive aqueous animation, Surf’s Up wipes out.
Related: In sickness and in health, Moore of the same, Michael and me, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Nature and the Environment, Wildlife, Marine Animals,  More more >
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