Whenever a movie has something to do with athleticism, it is typically hit or miss. There have been some really great movies on a wide range of sports, while others could only hope to be great. Typically, these films usually revolve around the use of a ball in the sport, especially football or baseball. Once in a while, there are other sport movies such as boxing or as in “Chasing Mavericks”, surfing. Does this film have what it takes to have audience members crawling back for more? Only if those audience members are also huge fans of surfing.
Jay Moriarty (Jonny Weston) always found the sea and waves to be fascinating. When he nearly drowned as a young boy, Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) was surfing and saved Jay’s life. Ever since then, Jay got into the world of surfing and loved it. Seven years later, he watched as Frosty rode a huge wave known as a maverick, which was previously regarded as a myth. From that point on, Jay wanted nothing more than to ride one, so he had Frosty teach him the ins and outs of riding and surviving the deadly maverick.
Let’s get something straight. The basis for the entire premise of the film is a surfer dude wanting to ride a big wave. That’s it. Sure, they threw in some important messages as to people will be their own person, and that any sport can be a dangerous one, but beyond that? There is no real plot, nothing that sustains any connectivity with the audience. This is because this film was based on a true story. It does follow the true story particularly closely, but the problem arises when you ask if the movie was really that necessary to make? The answer to that question is an emphatic no.
To a degree, the movie was quite inspirational, but how many movies can you count that have the underlining message of never give up on your hopes and dreams even when it seems impossible to accomplish? Too many films have the same message, yet have a more concrete plot, which acts as the films glue, to hold that message of inspiration. “Chasing Mavericks” clearly tries to be its own, unique film, but it lacks in apparent effort. Through all of the character development and overall well-done acting, there was nothing particular that connects with its audience, and in return, we don’t care much about what happens to its characters.
Now, the movie actually has some stunning shots of waves crashing, which does convey the fact that surfing can be dangerous. So, the look of the movie was actually gorgeous, and you understand what they are going for. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough to stop the movie from being unsuccessful at maintaining a level of entertainment for its viewers. For many, you may find the film to be quite boring.
The true story behind the movie is actually a very interesting one, and you may be more interested to read the story than to watch the film. Yes, the movie touched on all of the important information, but it wasn’t as important of a movie to make. The people that will enjoy this film the most are fellow surfers and those who were close to the real Jay Moriarty and his family. After all, if you could watch a movie based on your life, who wouldn’t want to?
Is it watchable? Yes. Is it the best movie in the world? Not by a long shot. Even though we have seen it numerous times before, it is nice to see the inspirational message that movie respectfully had to offer. Will you be seeing it more than once? Most likely not. Don’t take my word for it, check “Chasing Mavericks” out for yourself when it is released on Blu-Ray and DVD on Feb. 26!