Chasing Mavericks Movie Review

Chasing Mavericks 


Starring: Gerard Butler, Jonny Weston, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, Leven Rambin



Directed by Michael Apted & Curtis Hanson


Rated: PG

Run Time:  mins

Genre: Drama/Sport/ Based on a True Story


Opens October 26th



By Lisa Minzey of The Reel



For this week’s screening we checked out the film based on the true story of surfer Jay Moriarty, one of the youngest surfers to ever take on a Maverick, one of the biggest waves on Earth. During the filming, Gerard Butler was hospitalized after being injured while filming one of the surf scenes. He was pulled and held underwater by a strong set of waves.


The year was 1987 when a 7 year-old boy, Jay Moriarty caught the surfing bug. His neighbor Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) saved his life when he slipped off some rocks and was pulled under the current. Frosty had been surfing nearby when he caught sight of Jay and pulled him to safety. Ever since that fateful day, Jay looked up to Frosty and wanted to be a surfer just like him. Jay’s father walked out on him, and his mother, Kristy (Elisabeth Shue) right around the same time, leaving nothing but a letter to explain his actions. Jay, unable to face the truth, locked the letter away to read at a later time.


Seven years go by and Jay (Jonny Weston) has become a pretty decent surfer, even racking up a few trophies. He dreams of one day surfing and conquering a Maverick (a wave that is roughly 25 ft. or higher wave). One early morning, Jay sees Frosty pull out his gunner board, one that is designed to take on major waves, like a maverick. He scrambles out of bed and hitches a ride on the roof of Frosty’s van to see the mythical surf.  Sometime later up north on thePacific Coast Highway, Frosty pulls off and joins 3 friends, climbing down the cliff and towards the massive waves rolling in towards the shore.  Up on the ridge, Jay watches with amazement and is busted by Frosty when he returns from his surf adventure.  He begs Frosty to train him to surf he mavericks, is turned down harshly, but is determined to change his mind.


Frosty eventually comes around thanks to some cajoling from his wife Brenda (Abigail Spencer) and agrees to train Jay under strict conditions. If he breaks one rule, the training is over. Jay is overjoyed and has now less than 12 weeks to prepare to take on a maverick before the weather pattern changes.  Frosty knows, that for Jay to take on this wave, he needs to make sure all 4 pillars are strong enough (Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual) to withstand the massive aquatic beast. The next 12 weeks will be the most challenging of Jay and Frosty’s lives and the choices they make will affect them and their loved ones for years to come.


If there was ever a movie to see on the big screen, I would say this would be a terrific choice. The cinematography was excellent, capturing the essence of the sport with grace and thrilling anticipation. The story was good (as much that can be expected from a PG rating) as it kept it more about the relationships between the characters, the physical and emotional barriers that kept them from finding the joy and peace they desire. Be sure to check it out when it opens in theaters starting Friday October 26, 2012.