Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chasing Maverick's - Movie Review

Last night I watched Chasing Mavericks. 

I’m a sucker for all things surfing, (and Gerald Butler…) so when I saw the trailer for this film a few months ago, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Fifteen year old Jay Moriarity (Weston,) had looked up to Frosty (Butler,) his whole life.

Frosty had become a hero to Jay after saving his life when he was only eight years old; he’d fallen into the ocean and couldn’t fight the strength of the waves when Frosty paddled up beside him and picked him up onto his surfboard. 
That moment fuelled Jay’s love for the ocean and for surfing forever more and after cello taping his absent father’s dinged up board back together, Jay dragged it to a local surf spot, looking adorable as he practically drowned in his father’s wetsuit. 
After paddling out and receiving a few hard knocks from his board, Jay paddled his heart out for his first ever wave, standing up and riding down the crest of the wave like a complete natural. 

Personally, I’m not sure if anything could quite beat the feeling of that drop. That rush when the wave connects with your board and glides you forward at full speed, that moment when you just know when it is right to raise yourself up with the palms of your hands by the chest and jump up onto your wax covered board. That small drop that awakens all of the butterflies inside, scattering them throughout your body as your board finds the water once more and you slice through the glassy wave for what seems like hours. 
I could understand why anyone would be hooked after that. 

Skip seven years down the line when Jay, still an avid surf lover, discovers the mythic Maverick’s surf break after following Frosty on another one of his secret surf trips  - he seeks the help of the local legend to train him up to be able to surf it himself and survive it one day.

I was truly fascinated by the way the film was able to portray big wave surfers as more than your average, care-free beach bums. 

It shows how much passion and dedication actually goes into what they do; how they study the waves and their patterns and the physical training it entails.
It goes in depth into the athletic side of things which is a beautiful appreciation to them in my eyes.

Although I found myself grinning ear to ear throughout every surf scene, a lot of the visual effects really ruined it for me as well as the odd little drama scene thrown in here and there by aggressive 1980’s teens that actually make you cringe. 

Even so, nearing the round-off of the film, you find yourself gripping the edges of your seat in anticipation. 
I think the moment I discovered that this film was based on a true story about Jay Moriarity, who became famous from surviving the Maverick’s surf break at fifteen and who tragically drowned at the tender age of twenty-two in a free-dive accident – that is when this film became truly magical to me. 
At the end, they show a clip of the real Jay and it makes your heart swell like the ocean inside.
His beautiful memoir with every local surfer out on their boards brought tears to my eyes and really hit home as it reminded me of our local loss, Ross Taylor. 

I’d say this film has great potential – but it wasn’t what I was expecting. 
I feel that many people would be disappointed in it and as a tribute to Moriarity, it could have and should have done better.

I still feel that it was a fantastic film however, perhaps because I have a love for surfing and I could relate to the story-line and so I overlooked the negative.

Give it a watch and decide for yourself.

Happy Watching! 


  1. great post! would love to see this movie!

  2. I also always had the thing for surfing...I don't know why, I live in the Mediterranean and we don't have such big waves here:) The Mediterranean sea usually behaves too well:) Perhaps I'll get the chance to see the ocean one day.


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