'Chasing Mavericks' chases its tail

By Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comOctober 26, 2012 

Everyone few years someone produces a surfing movie. Most aren't very good and Chasing Mavericks is no exception.

That it is badly done is a surprise considering former A-list directors Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson do the directing. For those with short memories, Apted did The World is Not Enough, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Nell.

Hanson took home an Oscar for L.A. Confidential. He also did The River Runs Wild.

Chasing Mavericks is the "true" story of surfing legend Jay Moriarity. Never heard of him? Unless surfing is your thing, you wouldn't. The film's focus is how next-door neighbor and father figure, Frosty Hesson, taught him to surf mavericks.

First question. What's a maverick? A maverick is a 25+ foot wave.

Gerard Butler stars as Hesson. He and Elisabeth Shue are the name stars. Newcomer Jonny Weston does Moriarity as a wide-eyed novice. Maybe too wide-eyed. Moriarity's story isn't that interesting, and this movie isn't that well done until the surfing scenes. They are admittedly spectacular.

Unfortunately, the surfing scenes cover about 30 minutes of a badly written, mostly boring 90-minute film.

Your second question. How badly written? At one point, Moriarity asks his divorced mom why, when his dad left, he never came back. The conclusion is obvious. The guy didn't want to be in this clunker.

Mr. Movie rating: 1 star

Director: Michael Apted, Curtis Hanson

Stars: Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, Jonny Weston

Rated PG for mature themes. It is playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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