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Running Time:
1 hour, 55 minutes

Rating: PG Parental Guidance Suggested.

Rating Explanation:
for thematic elements and some perilous action

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
It's sweet, gentle, and affably modest, but it is spoiled an unconvincing script and a puzzling lack of energy.

Additional Info:
Gerard Butler ... Frosty Hesson
Jonny Weston ... Jay Moriarity
Elisabeth Shue ... Kristy Moriarity
Abigail Spencer ... Brenda Hesson
Leven Rambin ... Kim Moriarity
Greg Long ... Magnificent One
Peter Mel ... Magnificent Two
Zach Wormhoudt ... Magnificent Three
Devin Crittenden ... Blond
Taylor Handley ... Sonny

Chasing Mavericks
Jay Moriarity (Cooper Timberline) is a curly-haired eight year old California boy, who meets an old-time surfing expert named Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler). It turns out they are neighbors, and both of them are totally fascinated by the waves at the beach. Seven years later when Frosty goes off to cavort with his buddies at a place where supposed mythic “maverick” waves are rumored to exist, Jay (Jonny Weston) stows away in Frosty’s van in hopes that he'll teach him how to surf. Although he is initially reluctant, Frosty finally agrees.
They soon bond and Jay begins to look upon Frosty as a surrogate father. Jay's also concerned about his mother Kristy (Elisabeth Shue), who’s devastated by her husband’s abandonment of the family. Jay’s also infatuated with his mom's slightly older childhood friend Kim (Leven Rambin), who at first treats him as only a friend. Jay's also concerned about his closest buddy, Blond (Devin Crittenden), who is getting involved with drugs and becoming envious of Jay’s closeness to Kim. Jay is also constantly mistreated by a baseball-bat-carrying bully named Sonny (Taylor Handley), to whom Blond betrays Jay.
As if all this isn’t enough melodrama, Chasing Mavericks also deals with Frosty’s domestic troubles, particularly his difficulty connecting with his adolescent daughter. Fortunately he has an insightful, supportive wife, Brenda (Abigail Spencer), who overlooks his weaknesses and helps him make the right decisions, including helping Jay realize his dream.
The sheer physicality of the big surfing scenes have been beautifully captured by directors Curtis Hanson  ("L.A. Confidential") and Michael Apted ("Nell"), in what is basically just a mawkish tale of a good kid who achieves his dream through sheer grit, overcoming every obstacle life puts in his way.
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