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  • smccann4027 October 2012
    I went and saw this after reading many unfavorable reviews, and now having seen it I can't figure out all the negative attention. Granted, I may be a little biased having grown up surfing in Northern CA, paddling out at many of those spots, and looking up to the big wave chargers such as Jay, but based on entertainment value alone I thought it was great. The acting was solid, footage was incredible, and story never dragged on or lost my attention. The film portrayed a reasonably realistic vibe of Santa Cruz as a high school kid and the often not discussed elements of surfing. I thought it was great that they were able to bring in the real pioneers of Mavs and local shapers.

    The only down-check was that it did feel slightly 'karate-kidish' at times and there were a few events that would be incredibly rare that all seemed to happen at opportune moments.

    Perhaps this movie won't appeal as much to many who don't have a passion for the sport or appreciate the massive undertaking of paddling out in heavy surf - but I found it very entertaining. The story may not have been 100% accurate, but the point is to pay respect to and tell the story of an extremely driven and all around good guy.
  • When I was fifteen, I used to love listening to the beach boys with my headphones on, cutting out the rest of the world. One of my favourite songs was "In my Room" by Brian Wilson. Chasing Mavericks deals with people coming to terms with massive gaps in their lives but somehow focusing on something bigger than themselves to pull through. If you love surfing or the ocean, this movie is for you. Mavericks was brought to world wide attention with Stacey Peralta's film "Riding Giants". Jay has lost his father early in life, and has to act as a pseudo parent for his mother who suffers from the breakup. He accidentally discovers that his much older neighbour Frosty is a big wave surfer and so a teacher mentor relationship starts. Frosty, as well, has terrible father issues which continue to plague him. Their relationship develops momentum and gives each of them energy and purpose. The film underlines the choices we can make in life. Everyone has scars and issues to deal with. Do we give up and spiral downwards or do we set big goals (waves) and go after them. Jay plans carefully in his room to conquer his fears and reach his goal. Excellent and heartfelt acting.
  • Laakbaar27 October 2012
    Warning: Spoilers
    This enjoyable movie is recommended, especially for those who love surfing and the sea.

    It tells the true story of Jay Moriarity (played by Jonny Weston), a young Santa Cruz surfer who conquered Mavericks during El Nino, one of the highest waves in the world. The heart of the movie is the relationship between him and his father-figure and surfing mentor, Frosty Hesson (played by Gerard Butler). Jay has no father, but he's a good kid (a real winner, actually) and he latches onto Frosty. We follow Jay as he learns some of Frosty's rules of life and applies them to accomplish this incredible feat at the age of 16.

    Frosty's rules of life, and intense training routine, seemed rather bang on to me. This is the kind of thing that moulds young winners. It explains why Jay was able to conquer Mavericks. I accept the movie's moral: "live like Jay".

    I enjoyed the scenes showing surfing and surfing life. I identified strongly with young Jay's struggles with his family and friends, and with his drive (unusual for a kid his age) to do this amazing and dangerous thing. This is a coming-of-age story that spoke to me.

    This is by no means a perfect movie, but its downsides are relatively minor. The movie has a slight after-school-special quality. It's a movie completely acceptable for kids. Parents should be forcing their kids to see this one.

    For me, one issue is that Jonny Weston was too old to play a 16 year old. He has a young-looking face, but when he took his shirt off you could see he was at least 5 years older than that. However, apart from that, he was perfectly cast and played his role excellently.

    At the end of the film, we find out that Jay died in 2001 at the age of 22. This also explains why Jay is portrayed as such a beautiful and perfect kid, struggling with the imperfect people around him. The movie is a sort of eulogy to him. After watching the movie, Jay's death does feel like a huge loss.

    Once again, a score on IMDb just seems inexplicably wrong to me. The few reviews so far are positive, but the scores apparently are not. The moviegoers voting this movie down are not writing reviews to explain their voting.

    There is nothing wrong at all with this slightly sappy movie about a young hero. It's a fine movie that deserves better ratings.
  • If you want to watch a movie with a fresh point of view on the world and enjoy every minute of it, I highly recommend watching Chasing Mavericks. Chasing Mavericks is the type of movie that will make you feel alive. Not only me, but many of the other people watching it in the theater were so moved that you would actually they would move with the waves in the movie. The movie approaches the theme of love, family and freedom in a very natural way; something that we rarely see in any other movies of this decade. It's very inspirational and motivating, yet it's very real and natural, so you get inspired without being lectured. My hat's off to the person who first came up with the idea of having Gerard Butler play the role of Frosty, because no other actor could pull it off so perfectly. Butler's character is a mentor, father figure and yet, he does seem larger than life, a character that I can call Poseidon, the god of the seas. Aside from that, this is one of those rare movies that resonates father and son relationship, which is really good to see for a change. Grown men, including me, were actually crying when they watched some emotional scenes and this rarely happens. I highly recommend this movie to everyone who wants to reconnect with their emotions and thoughts.
  • Robalone-Lipps26 October 2012
    Stunning, nostalgic ocean/beach/surf/coastside visuals, and a watery-emotional story combine to pique any Half Moon Bay romantic to smile, point, shake their head...and gasp with awe. It's, of course, a five-star Flic for me (I am from Half Moon Bay); I'm sure anyone not from Half Moon Bay will have to give it at least a four. In the end, even though it is a love story, it's a surf movie--and a good one. From what I know of surfing, I don't think this tells the whole story, but I think it's a good start. I pray that it opens the door for more stories of this subculture to be told. Bravo to all those that took great risks developing this saga, both before and during.

    I do have a complaint: Jeff Clark of Half Moon Bay discovered Mavricks; has the name patented. He noticed the break from behind our High School, and in spite of warnings and skepticism by others, initially took incredible risk in developing Mavricks. He's this surf spot's pioneer, and though this story is really not about Mavricks, but about Jay Moriarty, Jeff Clark deserves his name prominently marqueed .... or maybe that's the sequel!
  • Dogdogattack26 October 2012
    It had amazing character relationships and determination to do what you really want to achieve. It made me laugh it made me cry, and most of all it made me inspired. I'm a surfer in general and the story of the main character (Jay) and the reality of the Maverick waves (look it up, they actually do have competitions to surf the waves that are 50 feet high) is just all the move exciting. It's a must see and take the kids, there are some kissing scenes, but they are brief and not graphic. No swearing or anything. Go and learn some awesome life lessons on the pretty much 100% accurate true story. If you look up info about Jay, the real jay you will find that pretty much same story. Very inspirational movie. Go watch it!
  • OK, yeah, I rated it excellent because Chasing Mavericks was a 10 for its genre, IMO. Better than I thought it would be - this story of Jay Moriarty was heart-felt and well-acted. Gerard Butler was spot on for guys like that in Santa Cruz at that time. Jonny Weston was surprisingly good, too, portraying Jay Moriarty.

    I loved this movie, the surfing scenes were photographed well. And the scenes around Santa Cruz brought back good memories. It was a throw-back to those movies that were not CG'd out, action flicks, super-heros, etc. (all of which I love BTW). It has a home-grown feeling with interesting colors and nice photography. I lived in the Santa Cruz surfing scene, although not a surfer myself, and really enjoyed the memories of hearing about Mavericks.

    Very cool movie about a good and amazingly talented young surfer and his mentor. Surfing is a tight community, esp. back then. I think reviewers who may use the term "sappy" just don't realize how sappy/cool they were! Awesome film that I think young and old will really enjoy.
  • Fear is real. Even big wave surfers are scared of something. "Chasing Mavericks" legitimizes the raw strength of the ocean's largest source of energy. A close relationship to both the surf in Northern California's Pacific and to the man who trains him how to survive its largest beast, this big wave film highlights some of the most interesting parts of big wave surfing psychology. Fear, love, loss... and finding a balance amidst it all. Drop into theaters to see Maverick's on the big screen - that should be reason enough. Period.

    -Shannon Marie Quirk, Editor of

    The Surf Channel Television Network
  • This movie was great - The filming of of the huge waves, surfers, and conditions was fantastic. I found it a beautiful story of people, the challenge of relationships, mixed with the thrill of surfing, and the athletic abilities required for the champions.

    From the heart, this is a true story of a young man, Jay (Jonny Weston), who in spite of many things against him, manages to make his dream come true based on hard work. It is also the story of another man, Frosty (Gerard Butler,) who has his own personal challenges, comes to terms with some of those, and builds a relationship with a young man who needs a father. I was particularly impressed by Brenda (Abigail Spencer), Frosty's wife, who simply loved him. Maybe a strange statement, but when you see the film, you will understand.

    Definitely worth seeing!
  • As a passionate surfer I always look forward to surf films as they are few and far between.The past few takes on surfing by Hollywood have been hit and miss and I think Chasing Mavericks was right on target. The story of Jay is such an inspiring one and it is done quite well as far as surf films go. Similar to the story of Stacy Peralta in Lords of Dogtown, he is an outcast who wants to turn a blind eye to the dark side of those teenage years that many are captured by. Bullies, drugs, violence all play their part in the film, but what is touching is the father son relationship that is developed with Frosty and Jay. Overall it is a great film with lots of heart and few unexpected twists and as in many surf films its fun for us surfers to pick out the cameos of pro surfers and Chasing Mavericks did not disappoint. Peter Mel, Greg Long and tonnes more mentioned in the closing credits. I think this film got surfing right with the escapist attitude and how surfing is more of a love affair with the ocean as opposed to a simple sport. It will leave you inspired and wanting to jump right into the water to Live Like Jay.

    P.S. Only bad thing is no mention of Jeff Clark. A little bummed at first but I got over it :)
  • For the life of me I don't know why it has a low review-- it's an amazing surfing movie. Heck, I'm not even a surfer and went into this very critical (I rarely go to sporty movies / inspirational flicks).

    It's based on a TRUE story, has fantastic footage of surfing (after viewing how-to's I am now amazed at how they pulled this off), & features superb acting.

    If you're looking for some ridiculous explosions, sex, and nonsensical action prepare to be impressed with something deeper. I loved how they didn't go with the norm simply to satisfy the masses.

    This is a down-to-earth flick for people who are looking for something that really hits home and I would go spend $11 to re-watch this.
  • fredskala4 November 2012
    I was surprised by some of the initially mixed reviews by the professional "critics" because this could very-well be the best surfing-themed movie of the decade. While the story may seem a bit contrived, it's actually based on a true story so I'm glad the writers did not exert too much "artistic license" to jazz it up for the typical Hollywood audience. (In this sense it has more of the feel of an independent film). The cinematography is excellent and the story-line inspiring. Set in funky Santa Cruz, CA in the 80's and 90's the surfer culture of this special corner of Northern California was well-captured. You certainly do not need to be a surfing fanatic to appreciate this film.
  • frispies3 November 2012
    I agree 2000% with all the positive reviews about the film, I think they said it all.

    All I want to add is that those waves and that sound should be seen on a BIG screen and heard in FULL surround system.

    It's an amazing visual and emotional experience. Please don't let the PG13 rating put you off, It's certainly a "clean" family movie, but I think adults will relate more to it I'm past 30 with nothing to do with surfing and I enjoyed EVERY moment of it.

    I hope you will go watch it in the cinema and have a great experience like mine.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    Why is it one of the best movies this year? Inspirational message - Overcome your fears by identifying them first. Fear is good, panic is bad. Anything is possible with discipline, dedication and hard work. Even in the most difficult of circumstances, if you try hard enough (or look past the waves), you can find a solution. So all in all, Chasing Mavericks is a positive, spirit-lifting movie. The movie is based on a true story, which makes these positive messages more relevant and applicable.

    Entertaining movie – There were some sad moments, some happy moments, but the whole time, everything was very engrossing and entertaining. After watching some movies, you don't want to think about them, because the negativity or sadness in them is too deeply scarring or the message is too emotionally challenging.

    In Chasing Mavericks, you are left with the same kind of message (sometimes when you test your limits, the limits test you), without the emotional scarring and disturbing imagery or strange questions in your mind, like what did that mean or did they have to show it in that way? Instead, you feel like both your time and money were well spent on watching the movie, and you receive all these positive messages of hope and the inspiration to overcome challenges in your life. Simultaneously, an admiration for the extreme sport lifestyle, especially scuba diving and surfing, is also kindled.

    Good overall execution – great acting by Gerard Butler, the lady who plays his wife and the protagonist. Gerard Butler looked the part from his skin tone, physique, personality and style - clothing and hairstyle. The movie felt like it was true to the era it was depicting (I think so anyways). The protagonist looked believable as the character he was playing. If this kid can play a different (perhaps negative) role and be believable in that, he may be one of the greats.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Chasing Mavericks is the story of 15 year old Jay Moriarty who wants to be trained to surf the Mavericks break, nearby his house. in order to do so he gets help from the legendary neighbour Frosty Hesson (played by the ever so genius Gerard Butler.)

    Because of this, people might see it as a typical surf movie, and as such it has received some bad reviewing in the past. However I don't agree with it at all, and blame it on the only explanation possible: some critics might be jealous at Jay, and his incredible lifestyle. At just 16 years old he achieves his primary goal in life: surfing the Mavericks wave to be able to feel alive.

    In fact it is not at all about the actual surfing. Yes, content wise it is. But looking at it from only that perspective is doing this great movie much to short, since this movie is about achieving a main goal in life. Achieving something you want more than anything else in the world. It's about love, friendship, parenthood, died, everlasting glory and fame, and more. Like I said, stating that this movie is just about surfing is not true, although i due see how it might inspire some people to start surfing as well. And to be honest, you can see that young Jay knows what he is doing, and that shows on screen. Nevermind the beautiful scenery of California coastlines.

    Furthermore is this movie based on true life, which is always a plus for me, and this movie provides the perfect mix between dramatic tension, humour and emotion. It is a story which inspires others, and this goes most certainly for this movie as well. I guess that for many people viewing this movie the words: LIFE LIKE JAY will stay in their heads a long time.

    Lastly i want to give create for the great editing of the movie, and the great use of music. this movie did not only provide me with a great time at looking at it, but also with several new great bands which i never had heard of before. For example: Blue light, and FADE INTO YOU of Mazzy Star are 2 great songs which I have learned about.

    To finish off i want to say that this is one of the greatest movies of 2012 and that i'm not a surfer and that I didn't know Mazzy Star before this movie.

    life like jay!

    Greetings from Glenn
  • Chasing Mavericks is a story of hopes and dreams, a story of a boy who knew what he had to live for. Some of us chase our dreams of going to college, or becoming a football player or a Lawyer. And there are others that dream of chasing the biggest wave, like Jay Moriarity he lived for riding those waves, for pushing himself to become strong enough for the Mavericks.

    The imagery in this movie is outstanding; it pulls you into the sea and sucks you deep into the beauty of the water. It makes you feel and see the details of the scene, makes you long to run your fingers through the surface of the tide, to inhale the fresh scent of sea air.

    Chasing Mavericks makes you realize the importance of living everyday to the fullest, to love those around you while you have the chance to do so, because each day is numbered and to never let the 'distance' of our own problems draw us away from those we love most. This movie also shows us the effect of fatherhood on our younger generation, how our boys and girls desperately need the strong leadership of role-models from fathers. How without the guidance of a father figure many of us will never reach the dream of 'riding the Mavericks.' How the loss of our fathers become our biggest 'fears', they hold us back from achieving what we want most. Acceptance and love.

    Jay defines all the odds, reaches the goals of what he was created for, he lives his life to the very fullest and changes the lives of so many others along the way. 'We are all from the water, but we don't all live for the water.'

    Chasing Mavericks is a clear five stars printed on my sleeve!
  • In my opinion, "Chasing Mavericks" is the best surf movie that has actually captured the magic and excitement of surfing. From the incredible inspiring story of Jay Moriarty to the magnificent Maverick waves this movie is enchanting for the whole family. This movie shows flabbergasting perseverance, a beautiful and heartwarming story about the young man Jay Moriarty, played by Jonny Weston, and it also shows the benefits and accomplishments when Jay chased his dreams.

    Predictably, no one can just go to Mavericks and actually survive a wave there without any training. In the movie, Jay never gave up. Frosty, played by Gerad Butler, didn't ease up on Jay's training. Frosty pushed Jay to the limit to prepare Jay for the monstrous waves of Mavericks. The going got tough with Jay's training; however, Jay kept on pushing harder and harder. Jay went through some hardships in his life but he did not let those lock him up or hold him back. Jay's dad left him and his mom when Jay was just a little boy. Also, Jay's mom had a little trouble holding a job down and paying rent on their house. This didn't put a halt at all to his dreams. If you want to see a movie about perseverance and never giving up on your dreams, do me a favor and go see "Chasing Mavericks".

    Relatively, I am a surfer like Jay. Seeing this movie about Jay's surfing life i can really relate to it. The director did an amazing job at capturing the feeling of a surfer when you drop in on the wave you are dying to surf. My personal friend is close friends with the actual Frosty. He said that Frosty was on set at all times making sure they were getting the footage right. Frosty also told them when to come to capture the Mavericks waves. At 3:00 in the morning Frosty once called the directors, Micael Apted and Curtis Hanson, to ask them where they are and why weren't they at Mavericks yet. The directors started laughing and told him they were sleeping. Frosty argued that the waves were at best at Mavericks right now. The footage was amazing though, and really captured the emotions and troubles Jay went through. As I said before, Jay's dad left him and his mother when Jay was just a little tike. One day, Jay decides to go and surf and borrows some fins from Frosty. He can't quite get up but a nice kid in the water helps him out. The two boys later become best friends. Sometimes the waters got rough in their relationship but in the end Jay's best friend was there for him. At the end of Jay's training, Jay feels as if Frosty is a father to him. Frosty is more than excited when Jay catches and successfully surfs a enormous wave at Mavericks. When seeing this movie, your heart will definitely be warmed by this incredible story.

    On the other hand, there is little tweaks I would make to this movie. I would not change any of the actors because they all did an impeccable job. I would change some of the song choices and have more modern music so people get into the movie. Otherwise, everyone that worked on the movie and participated in the movie did an ample job. Also, they set a great mood for this movie.

    Eventually, after Jay's memorable wipe out and then great ride he became famous. He had chased his dream of riding a wave at Mavericks. He felt accomplished and self confident. But unlike other people Jay did not let this fame get to his head. There is a saying that many people say because of this and the selfless life he lived. The quote is "Live like Jay". Sadly, Jay died at the age of twenty-two while free diving alone. Jay was down there for too long and just couldn't hold his breath any longer. When diving you should always bring someone because if something happens like that you have someone to help you or to get help. Jay's life is a great example of how to live your life.

    In conclusion, the newly released flick "Chasing Mavericks" is an adept and inspiring movie. If you had the chance to live like Jay, would you? The answer is definitely yes for me. You will not regret seeing this movie. In the future I hope to become as good as a surfer and a person as Jay. So can you do me a favor world? Go see this incredible movie and live like Jay in honor of him!
  • Whether you surf or not, this movie is inspiring and relative. Do yourself a favor and watch it. Since it's based on a true story, there's instantly an emotional connection to the characters. If you don't like it, that's OK. But if you're not relatively inspired, you must have been watching something different. For surfers, documentaries tend to be the most realistic. This movie proved to be different. The characters portrayed a realistic lifestyle...especially for that time period. This is not a "Blue Crush" type of film. There is no doubt you will laugh, cry and be astonished all within this one flick. So as i mentioned before, do yourself a favor and go see it. Cheers!
  • This is a film with true soul and integrity. A coming of age story about the human experience & relationships. It doesn't rely on a host of Hollywood names or a big bag of special effects to carry it. The main character Jay Moriarity is perfectly played by Jonny Weston, similarly Gerard Butler is excellent in his role as "Frosty', an old school surfer who is part of an elite group of friends who ride the Maverick, but the real star of the show is the jaw-dropping visuals of the sea. Waves rise to fill the entire screen and the sheer intensity of nature explodes in full surround sound.


    You don't have to be a surf fan to watch this film either. You'll be entertained and it will touch your heart. Go see it...
  • tynielson199810 June 2013
    The is the most amazing and inspirational movie I have ever seen. Brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it. It is my favorite movie and would highly recommend it to anyone. I watch many, many times a week. I learn something new every time I watch it. I've learned so much from it. The characters are perfect, the feelings that you get when you watch this movie are immense. This movie makes me so happy and I just love it. This movie has taught me so much, and makes me feel good. When ever I don't feel happy, I think of this movie and the things it teaches, and I just instantly feel so much better. This movie also inspires me to want to surf, and try new things. Knowing, that I could accomplish anything.
  • "Chasing Mavericks" is based in the true story of a California surf legend, Jay Moriarty and his mentor (another legend) Frosty Hesson. The movie follows Jay, who learns that one of the biggest waves on earth called the Mavericks isn't a myth and virtually exists in his own back yard. He realizes that they are only a few miles from his home, so he convinces one of his neighbors, the local legend, Frosty Hesson to help him train and prepare him to survive the monster waves. As the two train together they begin to form a remarkable relationship that changes their lives, as Jay and Frosty both learn about much more than surfing.

    This film demonstrates some excellent footage of the ocean and some pretty incredible waves. It seemed to capture the true nature of the California surfing scene; maintains its true beauty and danger simultaneously.

    This story never lost my interest as it remained quite true to the original story of Jay and Frosty. The real Frosty Hesson even appeared in the movie despite it being a small role that he wasn't even credited for.

    In my opinion, it was cast perfectly. I couldn't possibly envision anyone else in either the role of Jay or Frosty. Both Gerard Butler as Frosty and Johnny Weston as Jay portrayed their characters with incredible heart and emotion. They did a solid job of demonstrating their characters and the relationships they had, not just with each other, but with the rest of the supporting cast as well.

    This is a wonderful film that incorporated aspects of a great drama, and a great sport movie seamlessly. It's full of amazing life lessons and helpful surfing tips as well. This film tackled the issues of love, family, determination, fear and freedom in an impeccable and incredibly natural manner.

    All in all, this is a fantastic film that is most definitely worth a watch.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Here's another case of where movie critics will bag on a film with a brief review, but the audience will overwhelmingly support it (on, we have a 33% Tomatometer, 74% audience rating).

    If you're looking at this film as an idolization of Jay Moriarty, you're probably looking at it the wrong way. This film celebrates his life, and an enjoyable drama unfolds in the process.

    This film is full of human emotions and themes that hit us right at home, like growing up within a broken family, pursuing your true passion, growing as a human being and facing responsibility, betraying a good friend, love, death, and everything in between.

    Beyond this, the surf scenes are spectacular, breathtaking, and really make you itch to get out in the water (not necessarily at Mavericks though)! We can stare in disbelief and awe at what kind of apples it would require to push oneself out into the great blue sea and face the maw of the ocean in an attempt at glory and exhilaration. Kudos to those with that kind of bravery, or possibly a heaping dose of stupidity/insanity (this is touched upon in the film).

    As a caveat, it may be difficult to fully appreciate the film if you don't connect with the beach/surf culture. However, the poignancy of the plot does well to bring in those who grew up beach-less and without any idea how powerful the allure of the ocean can be.
  • As a resident of Moss Beach/Half moon Bay and former resident of Santa Cruz I was excited to see this movie. Almost every critic review I read was negative. Saying things like cheesy and unrealistic .

    My family and friends were all stoked to see how wrong the critics were! I have stood on those cliffs watching those waves go off and they are huge. The movie depicted them to a T , giant awe inspiring waves. Jay's story is true and inspiring. This movie was well done. Gerard Butler was a realistic salty surfer coach. Johnny Weston was perfectly cast as Jay.

    Live like Jay!!
  • Having Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson, two filmmakers with a number of wonderful films under their belt, credited with a movie about surfing speaks to both my passion for film as it does for the sport, which "Chasing Mavericks" portrays.

    Jay Moriarty's story certainly merits a movie about family, friendship and a passion for the ocean. The basic strokes of what the movie could've been are also present, and the actors do their best to lend some weight to what drives a few out into some of the biggest breakers of the world, and what drives many others into the ocean to find their own limits and confront their fears.

    As a surfer I was also glad to see that a feature-film was finally concerned with what it takes (training, preparation, study of the ocean) to go out and catch the biggest waves you dare. No babes-in-bikinis here like the cheese-festival that "North Shore" and "Blue Crush" were.

    Unfortunately these efforts are undermined by a coming-of-age story that is just too much by the numbers. Budgets always dictate structure and content, but the rough edges of the characters have to be more precisely drawn so that people who neither surf or are over the age of sixteen can relate to the story.

    The heart of "Chasing Mavericks" is certainly in the right place and along with some absolutely breath-taking surf-photography the wisdom that the story provides might appeal to you.

    At the same time there's too much of a cookie-cutter-structure and the real demons that possess a surfer to charge into the unknown are only slightly referenced at.

    The screenplay leaves too many ambivalent aspects out or skirts them and thus the actors, trying their best, come off as bland and stereotypical.

    So...I'm still waiting for a modern feature-film representation ("Big Wednesday" aside) of "what surfing is", but "Chasing Mavericks" is, although another missed opportunity, a decent step into the right direction.
  • ¨There are all kinds of sons. Some are born to you, some just occur to you.¨

    Chasing Mavericks is based on the life of Jay Moriarity, a young surfer who at the age of 15 managed to surf one of the biggest waves in California during the tropical storm El Niño. Unfortunately the film is full of clichés and one dimensional characters. I don't have any complaints with the scenes that take place in the Ocean, the big waves and surfing scenes are fun to look at. I didn't find it hard to believe that this kid could surf such big waves, what I found hard to believe is that this kid would act and speak the way he did as the rest of the characters in the film. The dialogue here was just awful, and it only took me half a minute to realize that after the terrible opening narration by Gerard Butler saying ¨We all come from the sea, but we are not all of the sea.¨ I don't think the film does justice to the rest of the people involved in the surfing community either. They pretty much made all his friends look like complete jerks with the exception of two or three people. Chasing Mavericks is completely predictable and at the same time very cheesy. You have this opening scene where you see Jay at age 8 on his way to surf and he runs into a boy smashing cars with his baseball bat who looks mad at him. Then seven years later Jay is all grown up surfing like a champ and he runs into this guy making fun of him with a bat on his hand. It doesn't get much cheesier than that. The scenes in the water are great, but each time you see these guys in land you are left disappointed. I don't think this film depicts the surfer culture very well. If you want to see a good surf movie go see Bigelow's 1991 Point Break which is a much better film than this. I'm sure Moriarity was a great guy, and he deserves a much better film than this.

    Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) lives in a small Californian coastal town with his single mother Kristy (Elisabeth Shue). Jay enjoys what any other normal teenager living off the coast of California loves to do: surf and he has an exceptional talent for it. He has always admired the local surfing legend, Frosty (Gerard Butler), who happened to save his life once when he was a child. When Jay discovers that the Mavericks surf break exist just miles from his home he asks for his help to train him. Jay has dreamt of surfing these gigantic waves all of his life, but Frosty is not up to the task considering it is far too dangerous for the kid. His wife Brenda (Abigail Spencer) on the other hand convinces Frosty to help Jay since he's always looked up to him as a father figure. Knowing that Jay will probably try to surf the waves on his own, she convinces Frost to help him. Soon student and teacher will be training together to accomplish a task that seems impossible. They have 12 weeks before the big waves hit the coast once again. Jay begins training really hard for this, and during his free time he spends it with his childhood sweetheart, Kim (Leven Rambin), with whom he's had a crush on for years. The training sessions help Jay grow as a person as he draws closer and closer to Frosty as a father figure who teaches him to face his fears.

    The film was directed originally by Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential and 8 Miles), but due to health problems he had to abandon the project, and Michael Apted (Gorillas in the Mist, Nell) took over during the final production weeks. I was surprised something this bad could come out of such talented directors, but the main problem in my opinion was the script from Kario Salem. The characters and dialogues were extremely cheesy at times. It just tries too hard to be inspirational. This biopic felt way too much dramatized at times. The Mavericks surf footage aren't enough to save this melodramatic sports biopic. There is nothing unique or fresh about the friendship between Jay and Frosty, everything is full of clichés. The film was much better on water than it was on land due in large part to the bad script and some bad acting from the supporting cast. The film might have its heart in the right place, but it just doesn't work. I may be wrong and surfers might like this movie, but I don't think this film really reflects that surfing culture in the way it intends to. You know there has to be a problem with the film when it's easier to believe the surfing of the gigantic waves' scenes than the actual family drama.
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