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Chasing Mavericks (2 stars)

Gerarld Butler plays surfer/mentor in remarkable story but frustratingly inert piece of cinema

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Chasing Mavericks

Put Gerard Butler in an action movie (300, Law Abiding Citizen, Olympus Has Fallen) or a rom-com (The Bounty Hunter, PS I Love You, The Ugly Truth) and the Scottish star seems perfectly at home. But for some reason he’s got a penchant for sports movies where his gruff bravado seems oddly out of context - having tackled football in The Game of their Lives and the truly awful Playing For Keeps, Butler now tries his hand at surfing in Chasing Mavericks.

Taking its story from the real life friendship between two daredevil surfers, Chasing Mavericks details the mentoring of Jay Moriarty (Jonny Weston) by Frosty Hesson (Butler). The moment Moriarty sees Hesson surfing the legendary surf breaks of Santa Cruz, he becomes determined to master the dangerous waves himself. Despite his initial reluctance, Hesson takes pity on the younger man, and sets a series of tests providing the route to eventual success.

The surfing scenes are impressive, but the distance from which they are filmed rarely places the actors firmly within the action. The result is a frustratingly inert piece of cinema; the story may be remarkable, but the telling is deeply conventional, and despite Butler’s considerable charm and undeniably buff appearance, Chasing Mavericks sinks in choppy water.

Chasing Mavericks Official Trailer

Chasing Mavericks

  • 2012
  • US
  • 116 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Michael Apted/Curtis Hanson
  • Cast: Gerard Butler, Jonny Weston, Elisabeth Shue
  • UK release: 5 July 2013

The true story of surfer Jay Moriarty (Weston) who enlisted the help of veteran surfer Frosty Hesson (Butler) to help him train for the mythic Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on earth.

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