“No special effects…no stuntmen.” That text flashes across the opening shot of a surfer dwarfed by a 20′ wave. It is a documentary, after all, but it’s interesting that the director felt the need to point that out, and refreshing to see a movie so visually exciting that doesn’t depend on tricks. Step into Liquid is a documentary about surfing, and it’s beautiful. It has its faults–the voiceover is annoying half the time, the interviews are self-indulgent most of the time, and the soundtrack is bad some of the time, but so what? The main course–surfing footage–is great. Shot from helicopters, jet-skis, and from underwater–the underwater footage was jaw-dropping–we get an amazing view of the action and the waves.
Some of the less-likely aspects of surfing showed up. Surfers in Sheboygan, Ireland, and Easter Island. Surfing the wake of a supertanker. Hydrofoil surfing. And it was interesting to see that all the surfers, even the guy in Wisconsin wearing his Blatz work shirt, had that surfer squint.
Just go see it. It’s shame that we only had a chance to see it on a relatively small screen–this movie deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible.