Tweedledum and Tweedledee (or Tom and Ross as they arebbetr known). Pic: Ben Writer
Like any great double act, good cop, bad cop the Ross and Tom act in the film, 'Storm Surfers' is a classic Butch Cassidy and Sundance kid formula. 'Storm Surfers' is a mighty showpiece and the central coast crowd on Monday 17th September, was pumped. The mixed crowd warmly welcomed Tom, from Newport, a short paddle from the Northern Beaches and Terrigal's over achieving favourite son, Ross, RCJ. Reacquainting with old mates in the front row Ross engaged the crowd and the show kicked off.
These guys anchor and characterise 'Storm Surfers' with ease, epic storytelling, a mysterious and beautiful nemesis played by the Tasman and Southern ocean, thunderous 3D swells and a campfire of supporting characters had the effect of seat surfing into the action itself.
The larger framed of the three stars and the overwhelming scene stealer is the ocean itself. Massive, scary, beautiful, terrifying and as 3D as a punch in the face. Some shots, with the horizon absolutely heaving, well, I heard whimpering from grown men, I felt the shoulders tweak, spring involuntarily, motioning too scratch out to the safety of the screens shoulder, albeit a celluloid shoulder..
Ever present the cinematography has the ocean as the untamed wild rodeo bull, unforgiving of errors, quick to punish and not terribly keen to be sidelined as a bit player to the crazy antics of Tom and Ross. The barrel shots, well, they felt and looked like you were in the bloody things. For non surfers, you'd have to say here's an invitation into another portal, the waves and the 3D as immediate to being in the barrel as could be without water. The instinct to wetty warm didn't seem out of place.
Settle in and get buzzed. Pic: Ben Writer
Tom and Ross reflect the magic of the Australian character, a character we see less of in the corporatisation of just about everything these days. The great mix of personality, science, action and adventure is almost as good as Mad Wax. Almost.
It is hard to glimpse Ross and Tom belonging to ages that often reflect beer guts, less risk and arm chair athletics. At 45 and 50 these two are more 17, ridiculous, playful, totally fit, obsessed with the ocean and a lesson to us all.
The spirit of the film owes much to the actual presence of both Tom and Ross in the cinema physically, both pre and post film. Storm Surfers for all it's awesome technology hinted at days of the Alby Mangels, 'World Safaris' film making forays, shot pretty much straight out of the back of a truck onto a white sheet in community halls, Australia wide. Old school cinema where the act of being at the film was half the experience, where the talent mingles with the patrons. At any point it didn't seem beyond reason that either Ross or Tom may break into intermission with a set piece of 12 bar blues via the spoons, gazoo or washboard. Storm Surfers had this kind of old school, fun appeal.
Ross regarded his peers from Terrigal who hemmed the front row seats warmly and Tom the dignified professional regaled hammerings and lucky escapes, each answer, coloured by Tom’s vibrant, wise fatherly, ocean warrior mystique, clearly enthralling all generations in the crowd.
Ross's mental and physical adaptation techniques for dealing with a 30 foot wave beating was hysterical. Comparing the worlds biggest wave beatings to being mobbed by hot women, generally on a dance floor with a hazy mix of house music and images of a hedonistic Ross cavorting with loads of chicks on the dance floor had the crowd a gibbering mess. That a beating gave him a sense of euphoria and pleasure confirmed any suspicions of the man. Too funny.
– Aaron Pirini