A couple of young surfers find out that they are descendants of tropical royalty but must dethrone an evil dictator in order to claim their birthright.
Judging a Book by its Cover
– Rob Schneider in his prime.
– I have a hard time believing they can all fit on that one banana peel.
– Leslie Nielsen is an Asian warlord? Talk about white washing!
Surf’s Up! Time to save the world!
Directed by Neal Israel
Starring Ernie Reyes, Jr., Rob Schneider, Tone Loc and Leslie Nielsen
The film opens with a narrator introducing us to the fictional Asian island of Patusan with its monarchy about to be overthrown by foreign invader, Colonel Chi (Nielsen.) Chi gets partially crushed by an elephant in a fight with Zatch (Reyes, Sr.) the royal family’s personal bodyguard. The family begs Zatch to take the two princes away to safety, which Zatch does under protest. Chi survives the stomping and gets robotic enhancements after the coup to become a nigh unstoppable dictator.
Fast forward a few years and the princes, Johnny (Reyes, Jr.) and Adam, have grown into totally gnarly surfers in Los Angeles. Their stepfather had his hands full with your typical kids who are smooth and too cool for school. Along with their seemingly perma-stupid friend Iggy (Schneider) they head to school while evil ninjas from Chi’s army stalk them. Zatch shows up to dispatch the enemy and warn the boys of what’s coming for them when they go to reclaim their destiny. Which they totally don’t want to do but I guess there’s no movie without at least one attempt.
In the wake of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film in 1990, kid-friendly ninjas were all the rage so we got films from 3 Ninjas and its sequels to more TMNT to Surf Ninjas. It certainly appealed to kids, I watched it quite a bit, but my God is it painful to watch now. Rob Schneider is my kryptonite. Leslie Nielsen is wasted in a role that doesn’t seem meant for him and even though he tries he’s barely in the film and has a running joke about not getting his cybernetic parts wet. Yeah.
The humour is mostly grade-school type of stuff, of course, and the fight scenes are okay but nothing too extreme for the kiddies. The film is light on the actual story, I found the movie is loaded with situational humour and fight scenes that eventually get us to the end. Kids will like it, parents will hate it.
Story: 4 – Two young princes escape an invading foreigner and years later become cool dudes who must try to reclaim their kingdom.
Blood: 1 – Maybe a bloody nose? Colonel Chi gets crushed by an elephant but there’s nothing squishy to be seen.
Nudity: 0 – Yeah right.
Overall: 3 – If you’re ten years old, or have the mind of a ten-year old, this is probably a 6. Adults with better things to do will probably not enjoy the overall film.
-Star Ernie Reyes, Jr. played Keno in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
-The Surf Ninjas Game Gear game shown in the film was real and was the first time a video game adaptation was made alongside the film.
-Leslie Nielsen remained in character between takes.