John P. Johnson
Darren Franich
October 31, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Chasing Mavericks

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
runtime
111 minutes
Wide Release Date
10/26/12
performer
Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue
director
Curtis Hanson
distributor
20th Century Fox Film Corporation
genre
Drama

We gave it a C

It’s almost worth seeing this surf melodrama just for the gorgeous cinematography of impossibly huge waves crashing against the water — and the comparatively tiny humans who aren’t so much riding those waves as barely surviving them. Unfortunately, whenever Chasing Mavericks goes ashore, it becomes a half-baked coming-of-age cheesefest — think The Karate Kid with wetsuits. Gerard Butler makes an affably scruffy longboard Miyagi, but lead Johny Weston plays true-life surf legend Jay Moriarty as a blank-faced angel cipher. That’s understandable, perhaps: Co-directors Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted clearly intend Mavericks as a tribute to the late Moriarty. But in attempting to honor their subject, the filmmakers also sap the life out of a potentially thrilling story. C

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