Review: Chasing the largest waves on Earth in ‘Storm Surfers 3D’

A scene from "Storm Surfers."

Tanned, leathery and as ripped as a pair of old jeans, Australian surfing buddies Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones could pass for cast members of “The Expendables.” But instead of firing machine gun blanks at extras, they’re up to something more dangerous: cresting the largest waves on Earth, some reached by nearly a 50-mile helicopter ride into the sea. Funded by Redbull — as is part of “Storm Surfers 3D” itself — the cartoonishly chipper best bros hunt monster thrills using everything from weather sonar to old Dutch sailing maps. Success means skimming through a 30-foot-tall surge. Failure means three stories of water crashing on your head. Bummer, dude.

Carroll was a teen legend who scored the first million-dollar contract from Quiksilver. Clarke-Jones was a happy surf tour bum who found fame at 35 when he became the first non-Hawaiian to win the Eddie Aikau Big Wave contest. Taking in their adventures is like zoning out to a cool screensaver — the waves just keep coming. But we slowly learn to see the water through their eyes, recognizing the different perils between lazy deep sea giants and the more brutish, tight curls that spit the brave straight onto the rocks. Still, Justin McMillan and Christopher Nelius’ rah-rah documentary is most alive when it unearths old ‘80s footage of the friends partying it up with blond groupies — talk about thrilling curves.



“Storm Surfers 3D”

Rating: No MPAA rating

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes


Playing at: Mann’s Chinese 6, Hollywood; Aero Theatre, Santa Monica.



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