Movie Review: CHASING MAVERICKS

Release date: October 26, 2012
Directed by: Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted
Screenplay by: Kario Salem
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jonny Weston, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, Leven Rambin
Rating: PG; Running Time: 116 minutes

Yet another surfing film in which the waves swallow the story, Chasing Mavericks is a cinematic wipe out. Given that the movie is credited to two celebrated directors (Curtis Hanson of L.A. Confidential; Michael Apted of Coal Miner’s Daughter), we can imagine them politely trying pass the buck:

- “Wouldn’t you like to work on this next scene? No one knows the subtlety of the surfboard like you.”
- “Oh, no, you’ve got a much finer sense of the wet suit.”
- “No, seriously, I don’t want to presume. I know it’s your turn.”

Back and forth, ebb and flow. It appears that ultimately no one showed up.

As for Kario Salem’s script, a mangled version of an old English proverb comes to mind: You can lead a scribe to water, but you can’t make him think. Buoyant as an anchor, the film’s scenes float toward us without shape or urgency. Friends go for a dive in a pool, zoom around on skateboards, and work at a local pizzeria. Possible conflicts arise but are never pursued, e.g., menacing bullies, a friend who may be dealing pot, a mom who may be slightly alcoholic, a father who may or may not have had a reason for abandoning his family.

But like the biggest wave ever surfed, a 78-footer crashing to a Portuguese shore in 2011 … I’m getting ahead of myself.

Loosely based on the life of Jay Moriarty – who perished in a free diving accident in 2001, a day before his 23rd birthday — the film opens on a wide-eyed 8-year-old, mesmerized by the waves that hold sway over his central California home of Santa Cruz. He attempts to befriend his local surf king neighbor … [FOR THE FULL REVIEW + RATING ON FILM SITE DODDLE, PLEASE CLICK HERE]

 

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