Sony // 2008 // 76 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 1st, 2011
Two surfers. One dream. Finding faith on the journey of a lifetime.
For Luke and Tyler, two young kids who love surfing, their world is about to get rocked. They're invited to go on a worldwide tour, scoring the best waves from across the globe while also getting exposed to different cultures. Along the way, they meet a gaggle of professional surfers and maybe -- just maybe -- learn some Very Important Lessons.
Said lessons are of the Christian variety. Walking on Water, as the title implies, is a faith-based adventure; a documentary that blends genuinely impressive surfing footage with testimony. The surfers offer their stories of personal spiritual journeys, while the different locales Luke and Tyler find themselves in are usually anchored by a church or a group of believers.
I'm always intrigued when a new Christian film comes down the pipeline. The God-centered moviemaking industry has certainly had its ups and downs, but lately I've found the trend in quality ticking upwards. Though Walking on Water came out in 2008, it's still hitting the guts of a time during which we've seen some decent efforts: Saving God, Faith Like Potatoes, etc.
And it measures up nicely. While the target audience may be slimmer -- How many Christian surf fans are there? -- Walking on Water is still quality; a gorgeous travelogue that sports some authentic and moving conversations with people unashamed to lay their faith bare.
It's not overly preachy either, a balance that is difficult to strike in the genre; you don't want to shy away from the truth, but you also want to be sure not to push people away by laying it on thick. Walking on Water resists this, waiting until the final third before the God-speak starts to flow. And even then, it's innocuous stuff, with the kids and the surfers speaking about their personal experiences.
The disc: an okay 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer doesn't quite nail the surf footage as well as I would like, and a basic 2.0 stereo track. Two featurettes on one-armed female surfer Bethany Hamilton (who is featured in the film) are it for extras.
Not Guilty. The surf footage is top-shelf and the faith-based filler is
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 76 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated