Chasing Mavericks

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: +3

Jonny Weston, Gerard Butler, Elizabeth Shue. Surfing drama. Written by Kario Salem, Jim Meenaghan. Directed by Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson.

FILM SYNOPSIS: When young Jay Moriarty discovers that the mythic Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on Earth, exists just miles from his Santa Cruz home, he enlists the help of local legend Frosty Hesson to train him to survive it.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It’s a sports movie, so we have all the usual suspects: the naive lead with a dream, the pretty girl of his dreams, the gruff mentor who also has much to learn, the broken-hearted single parent, and the buddy who is going down the wrong path, as well as the learning lessons – facing your fears, being responsible, going for your dreams. These elements can, and often do, cause these productions to last in our memory as cornball at best, untrue at worst. But with the superb film-making techniques of directors Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson, plus two handsome leads who are as astute with a surfboard as they are with film dialogue, audiences are treated to an engaging, even moving sports/bio/action adventure.

I was completely enthralled with the production. It has heart and truisms that nourish the spirit. Plus, it reminded me of the beauty of the central and northern California coastline. What’s more, it’s one of the cleanest movies I’ve seen in a while. No swearing, no crudity, no exploitive sexual situations, just fine storytelling with engaging actors.

Only drawback for me was the inclusion of a remark by the seasoned surfer who proclaims not once, but twice, that “we all came from the sea.” I assume he is asserting an acceptance of the evolution theory – that our great, great ancestors morphed from fish. The statement is made so matter-of-factly, and because there is little to no acknowledgement of the Creator of the sea, the filmmaker’s agenda can only be seen as humanistic, denying the presence of a higher power.

I wouldn’t suggest people stay away from the film because the writer, director, actor, or all three, believe in evolution. But my problem with the concept that we came from fish in the sea, or monkeys in the trees for that matter, is that there are still fish in the sea and monkeys in the trees. Are these remaining fish and primates merely slackers?

There’s no solid evidence that we evolved from another species. But most filmmakers, including Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson, feel more comfortable putting the theory of evolution on the big screen than defending the possibility of creationism. (Read my article, The Creation Theory Is Ridiculous – Or is It? HERE.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
20th Century Fox

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: A couple of minor expletives, but I caught no harsh or profane language.

Profanity: None

Violence: A woman is thrown down by a man, her son then tackles the man; danger in the waves; a young man dies by drowning. Boy gets a bloody lip when hit by a surfboard.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: A friend of the lead’s is obviously involved in selling drugs, but it is discouraged by the lead.

Other: None

Running Time: 101 minutes
Intended Audience: 10-years-old and up.

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