Critic Reviews



Based on 9 critic reviews provided by
The expertly shaped narrative zigs and zags like the most dexterous board rider between Southern California and Hawaii, with detours to Bermuda, Tahiti and briefly to Europe for one particularly amusing daredevil adventure.
Los Angeles Times
Hamilton's story is so filled with dramatic incident and personal and psychological complexity, not to mention spectacular visuals of waves upward of 100 feet tall, that it compels attention whether surfing means anything to you or not.
So, no, this is not a frivolous film. There are a few surfing sequences that provide a rush of “whoa!” adrenaline, and some breathtaking Hawaiian landscapes on display. But the movie is a character study more than anything else.
Even at two full hours, “Take Every Wave” must do a lot of condensing. Still, as ample and awesome as Hamilton’s exterior doings are, one gets something of a classic “authorized portrait” vibe here in that he’s not about to let us get too far into his head.
The film may not shed any new light on Hamilton, but the footage of him riding 100-foot-high waves is nothing short of awesome.
The documentary stirs up most of its sporadic excitement in the surfing footage, of which there is plenty. The imagery, especially the aerial shots, gives a sense of Mr. Hamilton’s precision and how close he comes to wiping out.
Take Every Wave remains entertaining because of Hamilton’s awe-inducing skill on the ocean, and his determination to ride the waves as long as his body will allow.
Although Hamilton — who is not widely known to a general audience — is inarguably a legend in his sport, and an engaging enough subject, Take Every Wave doesn’t give us a reason to invest deeply in his story.
The monster waves are truly awe-inspiring, and the language is never too technical, ensuring appeal to an audience larger than strictly hardcore surfer bros.

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