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In God's Hands


In God's Hands

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There are essentially two ways surfers can go about searching for the perfect wave: Tool around the world in a clunky utility vehicle, recognizing the dumb futility of such a quest, as in the classic 1966 documentary The Endless Summer, or drag along an expensive crew and use the downtime between 40-foot breakers to plummet into a deep existential funk. Unfortunately, In God's Hands director Zalman King, the cable softcore legend who had the vacuous Carré Otis speaking six languages in Wild Orchid, gravitates toward the latter. The threadbare plot follows real-life surfers Patrick Shane Dorian, Matt George, and Matty Liu on a well-financed tour through exotic locales from Madagascar to Hawaii. Each has personal demons to overcome, and all share a homoerotic bond, but the heart of the movie is in the towering waves themselves, rendered with impressive visceral punch. While these sequences are admittedly exciting, getting to them is a real chore, thanks to King's typically grave dialogue, made all the more laughable when mouthed by non-actors; Dorian's numerous reflections on riding a giant wave are as solemn as Max Von Sydow considering God's silence in an Ingmar Bergman movie. But if you can't get enough of "extreme" sports and have no trouble hearing a skate ramp referred to as "temple to adrenaline," then In God's Hands is the movie for you.