Movie Review: Chasing Mavericks (2012)

Starring: Jonny Weston, Gerard Butler and Elisabeth Shue

Directed by: Michael Apted and Curtin Hanson

The inspirational true story of Jay Moriarity, the surfing phenomenon who became a sensation within the sport for daring to dream. At 15 he is taken under the wing of Frosty Hesson who is to teach him how to ride and survive the myth that is the maverick wave.

A few years ago I saw the trailer for Chasing Mavericks and it peaked my interest despite not holding an interest in surfing. It’s taken me a long long time to buy and then sit down and watch the movie but tonight was finally the night that I was able to check it out. One of the things I was mainly looking forward to was seeing how Gerard Butler fared in a different role to what I’ve become used to seeing. Over the years I’ve come to associate Gerard Butler with action hero style roles as he has an impressive physique and looks and sounds like a genuine bad ass. Here he takes on a much different role from what I’m used to seeing and as a teacher/father figure to a determined young kid who lives on his street was going to be interesting to watch pan out.

I absolutely loved the story being told and the fact that it was inspired by true events was even more impressive. It was a story which revolves around determination, dedication and forming a friendship which turns into a special bond between two people. There were so many positive messages being displayed all at the same time that it was a little overwhelming but the movie as a whole was such a feel good journey of triumph. Jonny Weston plays a young Jay Moriarity and credit where it’s due he was truly fantastic to watch as he was ever the optimist and a true believer in himself even when others doubted him. Jay’s father left him and his mum when he was young and it felt that through the training he was receiving from Frosty he was gaining the father figure that he so severely lacked over the course of his childhood. It was an interesting dynamic between the two characters and it really was a joy to watch unfold.

Gerard Butler was equally as good as Jonny Weston as he really opened up his acting repertoire and truly showed that he’s more than just a one trick pony who can only play the action hero. The entire movie was filled with heart warming sentiment but not in a cheesy cliche way but in a way that felt real and genuine which sometimes is hard to pull off but Chasing Mavericks did so and then some. Jay’s twelve week training regime was a thrilling ride of ups and downs and it all came to a head during the end sequence which was truly tantalising to watch as I wasn’t privy to the story before watching the movie so I was genuinely on the edge of my seat as the question loomed over Jay as to whether he could ride the maverick or crash and burn trying to do so.

Overall, Chasing Mavericks was a fantastically well made movie that told a great emotion evoking story which was thrilling to watch. Would definitely recommend to anybody irrespective of whether they like surfing or not as it’s simply an inspiring story of dedication and self belief.

9/10

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