|Screenplay by||Kario Salem|
|Music by||Chad Fischer|
|Edited by||John Gilbert|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$7.9 million|
Chasing Mavericks is a 2012 American biographical drama film about the life of American surfer Jay Moriarity (portrayed by Jonny Weston). The film is directed by Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted, and co-stars Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, and Leven Rambin.
Filming took place in October 2011. While Hanson began production, Apted was brought in to finish the final 15 days of shooting and post due to Hanson's failing health. It was the final film directed by Hanson before his death in 2016, and the second-last film directed by Apted before his death in 2021. Chasing Mavericks was released in the United States on October 26, 2012, received mixed reviews from critics, and grossed $7 million against its $20 million budget.
In 1987, an 8-year-old boy in Santa Cruz, California named Jay Moriarity is saved from drowning by his next door neighbor, surfer Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler). This ignites his passion for the sport.
One morning, Jay (Jonny Weston), now 15, sees Frosty leaving early and hitches a ride on his van. He sees Frosty and three of his friends riding a gigantic swell known as Mavericks, which with El Niño coming in will be at its height in three months' time.
Reluctantly, Frosty agrees to teach Jay how to surf Mavericks, but insists that Jay learn about the "foundation pillars of surfing". These involve him learning to paddle board 36 miles across Monterey Bay (from Santa Cruz to Monterey), treading water for 40 minutes and being able to hold his breath for four minutes.
While training, Frosty encourages Jay to write essays to focus on the task. His first essay is about Kim (Leven Rambin), his crush, whose dog he saved when he was 8, which caused him to nearly drown. Jay gets closer to Kim as he trains, partially encouraged by Frosty's wife, Brenda (Abigail Spencer). A few weeks before the biggest swell of the season hits Mavericks, Brenda has a stroke and dies.
A few days later, distraught from Brenda's death, Frosty paddles out into the bay. Jay follows him, and using the knowledge from his training, he helps Frosty back to shore. Frosty realizes that Jay is ready to ride Mavericks. Frosty takes Jay to Mavericks at Half Moon Bay and watches with his three friends as Jay treads water against the tide. The group agrees that Jay is ready to ride with them.
For Jay's 16th birthday on June 15, 1994, his mother (Elisabeth Shue) gives him a radio so he can listen to the weather broadcasts and track the swell. Frosty gives him a custom-made "big wave gun" (a long surfboard especially designed for riding big waves). Kim reveals her feelings for him and they share a kiss.
Frosty had wanted to keep Mavericks a secret, but Jay's notebook that he had been using for preparation ends up in the hands of his rival Sonny (Taylor Handley). When Jay and Frosty go to Half Moon Bay, there is a large crowd and boats taking surfers out.
Many of the newcomers wipe out before getting to surf Mavericks. Jay wipes out at first, but then retrieves his board and successfully rides Mavericks. A title card reveals that he married Kim and died at age 22 while free-diving in the Maldives. The film ends with Frosty, Kim, and an assemblage of others holding a surfers' memorial service for Jay.
- Jonny Weston as Jay Moriarity
- Gerard Butler as Frosty Hesson
- Elisabeth Shue as Kristy Moriarity
- Abigail Spencer as Brenda Hesson
- Leven Rambin as Kim
- Greg Long as Magnificent 1
- Peter Mel as Magnificent 2
- Zach Wormhoudt as Magnificent 3
- Devin Crittenden as Blond
- Taylor Handley as Sonny
- Cooper Timberline as Young Jay
- Harley Graham as Young Kim
- Scott Eastwood as Gordy (uncredited)
- Colter Sanders as Alexander (uncredited)
- Patrick and Asher Tesler as infant Lake Hesson (uncredited)
The film went into production in October 2011 around Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, California. On December 19, Gerard Butler was hospitalized briefly after being injured during a surfing stunt. Gerard Butler was mentored by big-wave surfer Grant Washburn. Michael Apted received director credit alongside Curtis Hanson after he took over as director during the last 15 days of principal photography, while Hanson recovered from complications arising from recent heart surgery.
|Chasing Mavericks (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)|
|Compilation album by |
|Released||October 22, 2012|
|Label||Relativity Music Group|
|2.||"Brimful of Asha"||Cornershop||5:17|
|3.||"Blue Light"||Mazzy Star||5:08|
|6.||"Start Choppin"||Dinosaur Jr.||5:37|
|7.||"Fade into You"||Mazzy Star||4:54|
|8.||"Into Your Arms"||The Lemonheads||3:54|
|9.||"I Need an Energy"||Greg Holden||4:35|
|10.||"Chasing Mavericks Score Suite"||Chad Fischer||5:57|
- Other songs used in the film
Chasing Mavericks grossed $6 million in the United States, and $1.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $7.9 million.
The film was released on October 26, 2012 in 2,002 theaters, grossing $2.3 million in its opening weekend and finishing 13th at the box office; Box Office Mojo called the figure "dreadful." It was the 11th-worst debut for a film playing in over 2,000 theaters. It made $1.2 million in its second weekend then lost 1,571 theaters and grossed $448,648 in its third.
According to review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 32% of 81 critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 4.86/10. The site's critics consensus states: "It's sweet, gentle, and affably modest, but Chasing Mavericks is ultimately pulled under by an unconvincing script and a puzzling lack of energy." Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 45 out 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
Roger Ebert praised the film, saying that "Chasing Mavericks is made with more care and intelligence than many another film starting with its template might have been. It's better than most movies targeted at teens. And the cinematography of the big Mavericks scene by Oliver Euclid and Bill Pope is so frightening that you sort of understand why Frosty stays on the shore, watching Jay with binoculars."
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