Director: Henry Yu
Distributor: Sony Pictures Animation
Duration: 81 minutes
Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania (DVD) Movie Review
It’s been over ten years since the initial Surf’s Up movie hit the theatres. Even though there have been rumors about a sequel before, it isn’t until now that we can present you our thoughts on Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania. In the first film, Cody didn’t win the championship, but Chicken Joe did instead. It’s a few years later now, and TV channel SPEN sport is wondering what became of Cody after the contest and go and pay him a visit, which is where this sequel starts off.
Cody Maverick (Jeremy Shada) was once a pretty well-known surfing penguin, but after Chicken Joe (Jon Heder) winning the championship in the first Surf’s Up film, he lives a more plain life, running a surfing club at Pen Gu Island, together with Lani (Melissa Sturm). Even though his pupils love him, and he loves teaching, he can’t help but think what would have happened if he did win that contest. He would have been famous, people would have looked up to him but instead, he just lives an ordinary life. When Chicken Joe gives him a poster of The Hang Five, a crew very known for taking on extreme challenges which Cody has been looking up to all his life, it only makes things worse for Cody.
The next day, out of the blue, The Hang Five (Paige, The Undertaker, J.C., Hunter and Mr. McMahon) are on Pen Gu Island. Cody is baffled with amazement to see his true heroes in the flesh, and invites them all for dinner. While having fun at the dinner that night, the five heroes happily talk about the challenges they have met and how they managed to conquer all of them, when Mr. McMahon suddenly takes the floor, as he has an important announcement. As he is getting a bit older, he thinks it’s best for him to retire, thus leaving a vacant space at the Hang Five. Everyone, including his colleagues, is stunned at what he just said, but he seems to be serious nonetheless.
A new member has to be found for The Hang Five, and Cody is over the moon, as he is quite confident that they’ll pick him. When he hears that the Five decided on Lani, he tries to convince them of his abilities nonetheless, thus in the end Mr. McMahon decides that Cody, as well as Lani but also Chicken Joe and Cody’s all-time rival Tank Evans (Diedrich Bader) can join them for a new challenge at The Trenches, to ride the most dangerous waves in the world, after which the Five will decide who will have the honor to join their team.
It won’t be a problem for those who haven’t seen the first film, to follow this one, as a short recap is given at the beginning as part of SPEN’s documentary. The story of this film flows on after that, and is full of action, once the group set off on their journey. This, combined with the many jokes, makes sure that there are not many dull moments to see. The fact that the characters of The Hang Five are voiced by and based on WWE wrestlers adds an extra touch to the film which WWE fans will certainly appreciate. Nonetheless, we can’t help but feel that this was mainly a way to attract viewers, as the story is certainly fun, yet lacks a bit of depth and freshness.
There is really nothing to complain about when it comes to the voice acting in this film. The Hang Five might be voiced by wrestlers who had no experience in voice acting at all, they all did a splendid job to make their character come to life. The fun part here is that the characters are based on the voice actors’ true selves, thus in a way they had to voice themselves, giving them a slight advantage and undoubtedly a fun experience. Furthermore, it’s mostly Jon Heder who steals the show voicing Chicken Joe, with his perfectly timed jokes and constantly sounding like he is high.
This release treats us well when it comes to extras. You’ll be able to enjoy some bloopers, as well as an interview with the cast about their experience. Chicken Joe will also give you a tour around Slaughter Island (the island where The Trenches are). Probably the most unexpected extra is the one where director Henry Yu will teach you how to draw certain characters from the film. Other than that, there is also an interview with composer Toby Chu, which we found quite interesting as well.
Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania certainly has its good points, as it is often funny and full of action. The voice acting is done really well, and also the extras will keep you busy for a good amount of time and are quite interesting as well. Nonetheless, we missed a bit of depth to the story, which makes us like the film, but just not love it. You will not be sorry for watching it though, as it is most of all just a fun film for the whole family.