Bowing Oz helmer Rachael Lucas won’t ride the lucrative Nippon youth market wave with the misguided “Bondi Tsunami,” an aimless and amateurish Down Under surfing road picture almost completely in Japanese lingo. While the enthusiasm driving this indie home movie (pic is a self-distribbing family affair driven by credit cards) is unquestionable, it plays like a sun-bronzed, but lacklustre imitation of the Japanese slacker flicks which regularly unspool at international fests. Depiction of favorite holiday destinations may help small-scale ancillary success in both Oz and Japan.
Shark (Taki Abe), a Japanese surfer who waxes boards and waxes lyrical at Sydney’s Bondi Beach, is joined by his buddy Yuto (Keita Abe) for a road trip. They pick up cute Kimiko (Miki Sasaki) and the dreadlocked Gunjaman (Nobuhisa Ikeda) en route. Linked by comic strip images, yarn is whimsically episodic and ad hoc atmosphere is underlined by amateur thesping. Helmer plays with split screen, but naively rediscovers the visual dead-end that has overwhelmed pros like Norman Jewison. Dull digital lensing erodes endurance, and, while soundtrack is comfortable, it is awash with surf music cliches.