Ride the Waves with ‘Chasing Mavericks’

There ‘s something about surfing movies that is always inspirational. The majesty of the ocean, the skill of surfers riding the waves. Add another powerful emotional element – a father-son type of bonding – and the result is a movie that seems to resonate across gender and age. Chasing Mavericks is based on a true story, and comes across as authentic. Says KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Cheyenne Nguyen, age 9, “There are so many awesome footages of the waves and the surfing culture that the audience can really enjoy watching while learning.” Morgan Bertsch, age 8, calls the cinematography “hypnotizing,” and says, “You don’t have to surf to enjoy the movie, but it could open your eyes to a glimpse of what some of these amazing athletes will do for the sport.”

Chasing Mavericks

Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen

Chasing Mavericks
Reviewed by Morgan Bertsch

I got to go to the pre-screening of Chasing Mavericks.

So the surf is up and we are heading to the ocean for this amazing movie. The movie is based on the real-life experience of Jay Moriarty, played by newcomer Jonny Weston. Jay moves to Santa Cruz, Calif., when he is 9 and learns to surf from a boy he befriends. He is drawn to the waves and the ocean. He counts the seconds between the breakers for fun.

Once he learns to surf and has made a name for himself as a good local surfer, he meets a legendary big-wave surfer named Frosty Hesson, played by Gerard Butler. Small world — he happens to be a neighbor across the street. One night, Jay hears noise and a commotion at Frosty’s house. He looks out his window and his attention is caught when Frosty brings out his bullet. A bullet is an over-sized long-board that you need to ride a maverick. A maverick is a huge wave situation created by a storm system. When the conditions are right, you can find places in the world were the surf gets to be 30 or 40 feet high. It is like a four- or five-story building of water looking to squish anything that gets in its way. Yes, hello, that includes surfers, boat, kayakers and nearly any other water craft vehicle known — but for people like Jay, Frosty and the other maverick surfers, it’s what makes up their dreams.

The cinematography is hypnotizing. Some of the shots of the ocean and surfing are more than incredible. Your eyes are glued to the screen from the beginning to the end, and you can make a really strong connection to surfers and surfing as a lifestyle. Some people call it sour surfing, and Jay Moriarty was the youngest and the best.

In the movie, they show the relationship between Jay and Frosty as being only a few weeks of training seasons, but in real life Frosty trained Jay for years before his first attempt at riding a maverick. These waves can be 50 feet high and are very dangerous. There are so many things that can go wrong. Having us believe that all the training happened in one small stretch of weeks would be impossible but that’s just Hollywood telling the story.

Go watch this touching story and bring a friend but leave the boards outside. You don’t have to surf to enjoy the movie, but it could open your eyes to a glimpse of what some of these amazing athletes will do for the sport. Once you see it, you will know why, once you start, the ocean is always calling you to back to play again. I think I would love to learn to surf but I will stick with the small waves.

The age range is 9 and up, but really the photography in the movie will keep anybody entertained.

I give it four-and-a-half out of five twinkling stars.

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