‘Chasing Mavericks’ is packed with life lessons and inspirational quotes that are glued to this true life story making it a little too “fairy-tale” like and similar to most sport films. There are fantastic shots of the ocean on the surface as well as below and of these massive waves that are really astounding. The story isn’t bad the problem is that it has too many clichés attached to it that make it your typical PG drama film and don’t let it stand out from the rest. The film feels like a lazy project that decided to lay back and not fulfill its full potential.
This movie is based on the life of a man well known in the surfing world Jay Moriarty played by Jonny Weston, a guy that since he was a kid wanted to do nothing else but surf. With the help of surfing legend Frosty (Gerard Butler) he learns all the necessary things to be able to tackle and survive the world’s biggest waves off the coast of Santa Cruz known as Mavericks.
The film has a slow pace showing how Jay’s passion began as a child as a way of escaping a broken home, where he’s basically his own parent. Similarly surfing is also Frosty’s escape, although the film doesn’t go deep into it, as Jay is the focus. The first part is sweet and innocent showing how a child that didn’t let anything stop him grew up to be the same kind of man. It finds its ground once Jay reaches adolescence; the problem is that this is when most of the clichés begin. Such as his loneliness, bullying, puppy love, sappiness and some unnecessary drama.
There are a couple of scenes that were inserted to create drama that feels pushed and overreacted, in just the same way there are some dramatic scenes that exist to create sympathy for the characters and although there’s one in particular that gets to you some others are too sappy and kind of silly. I was annoyed at some of the cuts between scenes, as the screen changed suddenly from a dark frame into a really bright one which was an abrupt undesired changed.
The acting gives as much as the script asks it to; Butler’s character is too much like Yoda with all his life philosophies and teachings making the relationship between the two main characters unnatural and pushed. At some point in the film there are too many stories taking place making it feels unfulfilled, as we are not given insight into many of them and some are left with loose ends, while others transform magically without any explanation. Also, unfortunately for us girls there are almost no shirtless scenes.
Undoubtedly the best moments in the film take place in the water, seeing these massive waves and humans that actually ride them is thrilling. Knowing what’s at risk thanks to all the research shown on screen makes it the more exciting. The film spits out plenty of life lessons and philosophies which most are easily forgotten, the only one that resonated with me is that we need to inspire ourselves to reach our goals even if it means pushing the limits, whilst being careful and conscientious.