Unlike many films of this ilk, we get a real sense, rather than a quick 10-minute recap, of the inevitable ups and downs of the training process. Jay was a pretty good surfer to begin with, but to attempt such a momentous feat there was a lot of work to be done. We get a sure sense of that as Frosty makes certain Jay is equipped not only physically, but emotionally, spiritually and intellectually, too. Truth be told, it's this teacher/student relationship (which ends up being more like father/son by film’s end) that helps elevate the film above standard fare. With a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop of the mighty Pacific, Chasing Mavericks hangs ten with style and substance. Even if you aren’t interested in surfing, you won’t mind spending two hours in the company of these people because they feel so true to life.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Jay is shown caring for his mom when she drinks too much. Some social drinking depicted. It’s also implied that Jay’s friends are mixed up in dealing drugs.
  • Language/Profanity: A couple of exclamations of God’s name, but no profanity.
  • Sex/Nudity: None. Just some kissing and a scene where Kim is shown in her bikini.
  • Violence/Thematic Material: A boy is saved from drowning in one scene. Some intense surfing scenes where the waves are very, very high and people’s lives hang in the balance. Jay is also forced to “be the parent” since his Mom is clearly struggling after Jay’s dad leaves. Jay also struggles with his dad’s early departure and refuses to open the letter he left for him. Death figures prominently into the storyline.
  • Religion/Worldview: Frosty says that spirituality is one of the essential pillars for a strong surfer but claims he struggles with getting that one right sometimes. Some talk of what happens to be people after they die, something that Frosty struggles with in his moments of grieving. There’s are also strong themes of family and the importance of mentors.

Publication date: October 26, 2012