Movie Review – Chasing Mavericks (2012)

This coming-of-age film is based upon the real life story of the famed surfer Jay Moriarity (played by Jonny Weston). It begins when young Jay first learns to love surfing when a local surfing legend Frosty Hesson (played by Gerard Butler) saves him from drowning as a boy. At 15, after secretly tagging along with Frosty one morning, he learns that the mythical Mavericks giant waves actually exist, and occur near his own home. Thus he becomes determined to surf this unique and frightening phenomenon, and Frosty helps him train to survive the deadly big wave—paddle boarding for miles, holding his breath for four minutes, treading water for long periods of time, and other such necessary skills.

We all come from the sea, but we are not all of the sea. Those of us who are, we children of the tides, must return to it again and again, until the day we don’t come back leaving only that which was touched along the way.” -Frosty Hesson

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Along this journey Frosty and his wife become parental figures to Jay, whose mother suffers from severe depression, and whose father is out of the picture. Of course there is a love story plotline with Jay’s crush on Kim (who connects in from the beginning of the film, as he almost drowned trying to save her dog). Bullying also figures in to Jay’s situation, which adds an extra element of conflict to the movie. In surfing the mavericks, Jay conquers his fears and uncertainties, and is proving himself to everyone, himself included. Chasing Mavericks is a tale of overcoming obstacles, accomplishing dreams, living every moment to its fullest, and the need for love and acceptance.

This inspiring—yet semi insane—story is made with incredible cinematography depicting the astonishing natural phenomenon, and highlighting the impressive brutality of the ocean. It is a great family movie, though it does include some violence, and has a sad ending in that though he did manage to surf the Mavericks at the youngest known age, Moriarty died at the age of 22. It will definitely pull on your heartstrings, but will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.

 

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