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Unlike many other current films, Chasing Mavericks is a feel good piece of cinema that you can let your kids watch. For the most part, that's a good thing. Yet, you might find yourself wincing at the performances of some of these actors. With lead players like Gerard Butler and the never aging Elizabeth Shue I expected a stronger dynamic between characters. It never delivers in that regard. Scenes that are supposed to strike an emotional chord fall flat under poor direction and an inexperienced youthful cast. Sadly, the lead actor Jonny Weston seems like a fish out of water with these older, more experienced actors. It's not his age that I had a problem with, but his lack of ever capturing one second of real emotion.
Where the movie succeeds in telling the true tale of Jay Moriarty it absolutely fumbles in other ways. Even the chick flick guy Gerard Butler struggles through some plodding dialogue and the questionable directorial efforts of Curtis Hanson. Honestly, I'm shocked that this movie is by the same person that brought us L.A. Confidential and Wonder Boys. Comparatively, Chasing Mavericks plays like amateur hour compared to those films. But as I've learned, not all movies are created equal. If this is the worst he ever makes, I'll gladly accept it.
Chasing Mavericks is the epitome of feel good, Karate Kid style, "boy does good", sports movies. There are moments that you cheer for the main character and there are moments that you want to bow your head in silence as you mourn the minutes lost watching this movie. As a rental, I would mildly suggest it for a decent family movie. Adults might have a hard time watching this one alone.