Like the daredevil teenage surfer whose incredible true story is dramatised in this adrenaline-pumping biopic, Chasing Mavericks almost wiped out, but managed to ride its luck.
Director Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential) fell ill midway through production and Michael Apted stepped in to complete the inspirational tale of one young man taming Mother Nature.
Traumas behind the scenes haven’t generated any ripples on the big screen because Chasing Mavericks is an uplifting, if formulaic, sports movie that benefits greatly from breathtaking sequences on the water and the stars performing their own stunts.
Screenwriter Kario Salem’s affection for legendary surfer Jay Moriarity, who conquered the mythical Mavericks break in California at the tender age of 15, rings loud and clear in every glib line of dialogue.
Jay (Jonny Weston) feels at home on the waves and he is determined to ride the monstrous waves close to the home he shares with his depressed mother (Elisabeth Shue).
He convinces veteran surfer Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) to train him for the epic trial of riding Mavericks, which can swell to 50 feet high.