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Film Review: 'Chasing Mavericks' Wipes Out

Curtis Hanson & Michael Apted's film is pretty to look at, but not very interesting, story-wise.

Surf movies are sort of a niche within the genre of sports films. Aside from such titles as Johnny Tsunami (1999), Rip Girls (2000) and Blue Crush (2002), the number of feature surf flicks pales in comparison to, say, baseball or football films.

Now, Fox 2000 Pictures brings us Chasing Mavericks, a bio-drama about teen surfer Jay Moriarity (played by Jonny Weston).

In 1994, the Santa Cruz high school sophomore spends his life going to class, working at a local pizza joint, helping his unstable mom (Elisabeth Shue) get back on her feet and catching every wave possible. When he discovers his neighbor and idol Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) has a secret yet dangerous surf spot called Mavericks, his main priority is persuading Frosty he’s experienced and prepared enough to ride the biggest waves.

Abigail Spencer and Leven Rambin co-star as Frosty’s wife and Jay’s crush, and Devin Crittenden plays Jay’s best friend. Based on the true story of Moriarity’s inspirational love of surf and surviving in the water, Chasing Mavericks is definitely a visually stimulating film. Co-directed by Curtis Hanson of L.A. Confidential (1997) and Michael Apted of Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980), the feature includes some beautiful footage of the beach and surfing sequences, but drowns under a rather messy screenplay structure and some bad acting (e.g., Butler’s accent). In the end, the film is best enjoyed by surf fans.

MAS November 04, 2012 at 05:54 AM
This film wipes out only if you know nothing about the world of surfing. Yes, the acting was mediocre at times but the story was wonderful. It takes you into the heart and soul of a big wave surfer. It teaches you about the hard work and discipline that one must have in order to survive the massive breaks at epic surf spots such as Mavericks. It teaches you how to persevere in the midst of heartache, loneliness, and disappointment. It teaches you about love and friendship. Most importantly it teaches you to be who you are meant to be and to be true to yourself. LIVE LIKE JAY! SEE THE MOVIE!!!!!
Ashley Lucille Austin April 09, 2013 at 11:54 PM
U hv rly inspired my to want to learn how to surf And for it to be my passion U hv made it possible to conquer anything I love u for tht jonny weston and jay moriarity

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