Movie Review: The Perfect Wave

{By Ellery Sadler}

Rating: A moving, inspiring story that everyone should see. Highly recommend.

I grew up on Clint Eastwood. I know that classic squint and the cheroot hanging on his lip and the lean, hard look. And I think he’s amazing. So when ‘The Perfect Wave’ starring Scott Eastwood (who has his dad’s squint and his dad’s eyes and that same sort of smile), came across my newsfeed, I looked twice. Especially since Rachel Hendrix of October Baby, co-stars.

The Perfect Wave brings to life the miracle story of surfer Ian McCormack’s search for that perfect wave and what he found beyond the ocean.

the perfect wave movie review

Something about movies that are based on true stories really intrigues me. There is an authenticity to them that you really can’t find anywhere else. I was hoping for a good movie but what I found was an incredible one. For anyone who loved October Baby or Soul Surfer, you will love The Perfect Wave.

the perfect wave movie review

Acting: Outstanding  

With stellar performances from Scott Eastwood, Rachel Hendrix, and Cheryl Ladd, I was blown away by the high caliber of this film. Scott Eastwood instantly endeared himself with his devil-may-care attitude, wonderful surfing skills, and authenticity. He impressed me with his honesty. And Rachel Hendrix gave an arresting performance as the lost and haunted Annabelle, looking for meaning in life. Cheryl Ladd’s heartfelt portrayal of Mrs. McCormack was both beautiful and moving. The supporting cast did an excellent job and I was completely enraptured with this story.

A few of the lines came off a little pat, like when Scott says ‘my life is changed forever’ and his friends took his miraculous resurrection from death very in stride (which may have been factual, but man, if a friend of mine comes back from the morgue, I think I might scream or something). Scott’s tears were much more convincing. His ability to move the viewer through his emotions caught my attention and touched me.

Maturity level: PG13

While there is nothing graphic or gruesome, there are some thematic elements and more mature elements, including some party scenes, a girl in a towel, and it is implied that a boyfriend and girlfriend are living together while they travel. Also, there is a half-joking question if a man and his girlfriend are pregnant before they get married. The director and screenwriter handled these tastefully and I applaud them for not slapping everything on the screen and leaving some things to be imagined.

the perfect wave review

Technical: Fabulous

I fell in love with the whole ambiance of The Perfect Wave (and am now definitely planning a surfing trip to Bali ASAP). From the beautiful musical score to the breathtaking cinematography, this film captured the heart of the surfer’s dream. I also appreciated the way they showed Ian’s talk with Jesus. While almost impossible to capture such an experience, I thought it was interesting and well done. Fantastic job, Jeremy Soule on creating an incredible soundtrack and Bruce Macdonald for directing and producing such an excellent film.

Overall: I am in love with The Perfect Wave

The testimony of Ian McCormack is powerful and inspiring. The obvious evidence of Christ’s work in his life and through him blows me away. The undertone of Christianity and the message of His goodness is tastefully but clearly seen throughout the film. I highly recommend The Perfect Wave to anyone looking for answers, looking to be re-inspired, or just looking for a fabulous movie for a Saturday night.

You can’t watch The Perfect Wave without being touched by it’s authenticity, honesty, and power. 

‘One man’s journey in search of the ultimate wave was beyond the ocean.’ 

* All faith-based movies are compared to to other faith-based movies, and are not necessarily rated or compared to Hollywood productions.