"Where Fun and Insanity Meet"
What You Need To Know:
It is amazing to watch courageous young men risk their own lives to save a friend trapped in deadly surf. After a couple of hours, it is strangely believable when surfing is described as a life-long, all-consuming love affair. Sadly, a love affair with a sport, no matter how thrilling or enjoyable, is still an empty pursuit by fallen man. In RIDING GIANTS, surfers talk about the unique connection they have with the sea. Content with mere creation, these surfers seem to lack a connection with the Creator of those big waves.
(H, Ab, Pa, B, C, LL, V, N, A, D, M) Humanist worldview expressed in this chronicled pursuit for the ultimate big wave to surf, brief negative reference about some Christian missionaries who banned the sport of surfing, brief reference to superstitions, and moral, redemptive themes of courage and sacrifice as swimmers bravely rescue others in serious jeopardy; 19 obscenities (with 2 “f-words”) and five profanities; no explicit nudity, but men and women in bathing suits; violence includes scenes of surfer wipe outs, crashing on rocks, some blood shown from minor injuries, and talk of surfers’ deaths; drinking and smoking; and, stories of stealing chickens and food to eat, brief clips of dancing, some rebellious themes associated with surfing, such as trespassing, crude hand gestures, etc., talk of addiction to the adrenaline high of surfing, and surfing compared to faith.
RIDING GIANTS is the quintessential “big wave” surfing documentary. Moviegoers will likely be swept up in the rip tide of this exhilarating ride.
RIDING GIANTS opens with an historical synopsis on the art of surfing. Early missionaries to Hawaii are (appropriately so) criticized in surfing’s timeline for banning the sport for many decades. Curiously, surfing found revival as a tourist ploy to tout island life and leisure to visiting mainlanders.
RIDING GIANTS dives into the personal tales of the famous big wave riders, using film reel footage and colorful accounts from the sport’s surviving “founding fathers.” It is here that RIDING GIANTS really catches its stride and hooks viewers in for the long haul.
Taking unnecessary risks and occasionally knocking on death’s door may not be everyone’s idea of fun at the beach, but the movie easily expresses the allure and thrills of this popular pastime. In retrospect, pastime seems too polite a term to use. Its fans may more accurately describe it as a passion (or even an obsession).
RIDING GIANTS also acknowledges surfing’s longtime association with rebellious behavior, but it tries to minimize any devious motives by the early surfers. Instead, it attempts to rationalize how young men can justify spending eight to ten hours a day surfing and living at the beach for months or years at a time. Stories of aberrant behavior are balanced by the captivating testimonials of brave men humbled by the power of the sea. Keen observers could argue that surfing produces a seesaw effect in the human spirit. Attempting to ride the largest and most frightening waves, surfers teeter between personal pride and utter humility.
RIDING GIANTS concludes with the latest advancements in the sport and the story excels when it examines the improvements in rescue techniques. It is amazing to watch courageous young men risk their own lives to save a friend trapped in deadly surf. After a couple of hours, it is strangely believable when surfing is described as a life-long, all-consuming love affair. Unfortunately, a love affair with a sport – no matter how thrilling or enjoyable – is still an empty pursuit by fallen man. In RIDING GIANTS, surfers talk about the unique connection they have with the sea. Unfortunately, content with creation, they miss a connection with the Creator of those big waves.