Top positive review
152 people found this helpful
I just saw Chasing Mavericks, and all I can say is that it was AWESOME
on November 18, 2012
IMO SLEEPER MOVIE OF THE YEAR - PG and awesome!
DISCLAIMER: I lived in Santa Cruz 1987-1992. I do not pretend to be a surfer, because I am not one. I have, however, done a lot of body surfing and body boarding (boogie boarding) in Hawaii and Santa Cruz. Plus as a marine biologist I have spent considerable amounts of time near, in, and on the ocean. With that being said...
"Chasing Mavericks" is probably the best surfing movie I have ever seen. This biopic of young Jay Moriarity and his mentor Frosty Hesson delves into the psyche and spiritual basis of surfing better than any other surfing movie.
Gerard Butler turns in a stellar performance as the sage surfer who reluctantly agrees to train a teenager to surf one of the most dangerous waves in the world - Mavericks.
To "get" this movie you have to understand this wave.
Mavericks is surf break just north of Half Moon Bay, CA. It breaks only when the surge is big enough and comes from the right direction. Most offshore breaks occur over reefs that are 20 feet deep or less (e.g., Pipeline, on the north shore of Oahu), but the reef at Mavericks is twice that deep. This means that it takes a huge wave to break there.
In addition to the deep reef at Mavericks, there is an unusual underwater rock formation that helps big waves set up and break. There is a sloping ramp of rock that approaches the shallow water inshore. The water to the right and left of this ramp is deep. The shallower water slows a wave, makes it stand up, and then plunge over explosively. The deep water on either side keeps the focus of the wave in one location.
This combination of factors produces waves that can be 20-80' feet tall, and is one of the most dangerous places to surf in the world. There are only a few places in the world with waves in this size class. OK, back to the movie.
Young Jay Moriarity, like just about every other surfer along the central California coast those days had heard rumors of a giant wave, but it was dismissed largely as myth. One day though, Jay discovers someone who rides that wave - Frosty Hesson - and Jay sees the wave and Frosty and his surfing partners ride the wave at Mavericks. It takes some doing, but Frosty is finally convinced to train Jay for Mavericks.
This movie is about what it takes to prepare not to ride a wave like Mavericks, but how to increase your chances of surviving it. That preparation requires physical, mental, spiritual, etc., development.
There is a good dose of surfing in the movie, and while there is a strong mental and spiritual component to the movie, it does not come across as eclectic or preachy. it's just downright amazing!
The sheer force and presence of the wave is awe-inspiring, and the willingness and ability of a small handful of big-wave surfers who challenge it and ride it are beyond impressive. It borders the miraculous.
I mean, I've been held down by a waves in the 6-8' range in Hawaii, so it's nearly impossible to imagine the amount of force in a wave the size of Mavericks. It's a wave that you feel more than you hear or see it. Sheer power!
This is a movie experience not to be missed!
5 stars all the way, and I'll be buying a copy of this movie ASAP.