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90 Second Movie Review: Surf's Up!

Rich Cerow


Surf boards made of ice work. Totally well.
Penguins are everywhere these days, and now apparently they are really into going against their natural inclinations and surfing and living on tropical islands. I don't begrudge the penguins this; I thought they were absolutely adorable in March of the Penguins, and they've earned a bit of the spotlight usually reserved for sabretooth tigers and adorable elephants who can fly. Really, though, it feels like I am being inundated with CGI penguin cartoons right now. And not nearly enough of them feature penguins rapping classic hip-hop songs like "The Message" (because even in Antarctica, crack is whack, kids). Now, in Surf's Up!, I don't expect to hear any rapping. I am sure all music will either be Dick Dale's "Misirlou" or gently lilting uekelele music, like that big fat Hawaiian dude who sang "Over the Rainbow." Except maybe during one of the high intensity surf contests where the plucky young upstart penguin faces off against the jaded jerk champion, we'll get some pop-punk to let us know that this is very exciting. There will probably also be a training montage before the big event set to "Eye of the Tiger," except hilarious things will happen like it will look as though the penguin is struggling really hard to lift a barbell, and then when we cut wide from the close-up of his sweaty face, it turns out there are itsy-bitsy weights on the ends. And then they could show him jogging and running really hard while the Rocky theme plays in the background, only to reveal that the penguin has climbed, like, three steps of a giant staircase. I would also like to see the trainer Doc from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! incorporated into all of this; that fat tyrant seems ready to get taken down a few pegs. Riding on that bike while Little Mac's gotta run behind him. He did pick a nice scenic route to run, though, going right past the Statue of Liberty and all.

What your girlfriend will think of you if you take her to see Surf's Up!: That you hope this penguin revival results in the Penguin becoming a major player in the Gotham City underworld again. Which is probably why you've been wearing that top hat, tails, and monocle everywhere - just to curry favor with him. I know you, you've got your heart set on being his number one henchman, cause that means that when Batman finally shows up, you get a highlighted fight with him. Plus, it means you get to operate a cool weapon, like a giant umbrella machine gun. That would be a pretty sweet gig, but I'd probably go with being the number 3 guy. Number 1 is just too high profile - Batman will clearly need to fight you just before he fights the Penguin, and he'll make a big show of taking you down because you're a nunchuck expert or whatever. Number 3, you can just slip out in the confusion and avoid an extended stay at Arkham Asylum, the least effective maximum security institution in the country.


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