Mentor movies have been a cinematic staple for ages, so 'Chasing Mavericks' arrives on screen already with a severe handicap of being just another movie of the same genre. However surprisingly this movie elevates itself thanks to some heartfelt moments of solace and breathtakingly executed surfing sequences.
The movie's based on the true story of surfer, Joe Moriarty (Jonny Weston) who's desire was to ride the Mavericks, a term used for killer waves off the coast of California, that would crush you unless you knew how to ride them. He finds a mentor in the form of Frosty (Gerard Butler), one of the few elite surfers who have conquered those unruly, wild waves. Though initially reluctant, Joe's persistence melts Frosty's tough exterior and he starts training the young lad. Each man has his personal demons they have to face in addition to conquering the sea.
The movie has some clunky dialogue but its earnestness washes it all away. The performances are heartfelt and utterly believable. Butler in particular is perfectly cast. The surfing scenes are gorgeously shot and harkens back to the high-octane cinema of the late 80s and early 90s.
Curiously the movie is directed by two highly regarded filmmakers, Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted, and each of their styles shows; Hanson in the drama and Apted's remarkable visual sense.
'Chasing Mavericks' is a solidly mounted tale of struggle and achievement, which despite some minor shortcomings will win you over.view less