20th Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures and Walden Media present a PG, 97 minute, based on a true story, sport, drama, directed by Michael Apted, Curtis Hanson, screenplay by Kario Salem and story by Jim Meenaghan with a theater release date of October 26, 2012.
A young boy, Jay Moriarity (Cooper Timberline) and a young girl, Kim (Harley Graham) are out playing on the rocks, Kim with her Beagle and Jay timing the waves as they crash so violently against the rocks in which the kids stand. In the blink of an eye Jay is washed away into the surf but rescued by a nearby surfer, Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler). From that moment on the life of this young boy from Santa Cruz, California has been changed forever. It’s a small world and little did he know the man that saved his life happened to live adjacent to his own home. Jay’s father left him at eight years of age and now he lives his life with his unreliable mother Kristy (Elisabeth Shue).
Seven years later, Kristy is still irresponsible and Jay (Jonny Weston) has grown into quite the young man, smart, good looking and one hell of a surfer. The girl he grew up with, Kim (Leven Rambin) has turned into quite the looker herself but in regards to Jay she considers him just a friend but of course she will always be his one true love. Jay has grown to look at Frosty as a type of father figure but for Frosty it goes unnoticed until his wife Brenda (Abigail Spencer) informs him to open his eyes. For many a son is born into a family but sometimes they just are and for Jay that stands true that he just is.
As a child, Jay was taunted by Sonny, one of the rough kids that always walked around with a baseball bat and seven years later not much has changed, he still refers to Jay as ‘little trash’. Jay tries to take care of his life and that of his mother’s by working at a local pizza place with his best friend Blond (Devin Crittenden) who is starting to walk down the wrong road by associating with Sonny and his crazy friends.
One night when Jay hitches a ride atop Frosty’s van he discovers that Frosty and his friends have found the long time Maverick myth is actually a reality. They have discovered the Loch Ness Monster just up the coast from their suburban neighborhood; it is the big wave, the biggest ever and known as the Maverick. At that moment Jay knew he had to surf that wave and soon thereafter Frosty became his Mr. Miyagi, if you’ve ever seen “the Karate Kid” then you know what I mean. Frosty had a few weeks to get Jay ready to attempt the wave by shaping his mind, physical strength and overall abilities to master the biggest waves known to man. During his training period the two scuba dive giving the audience an up close and personal view of what actually swims below the surf at all times, some scenes of beauty and others of fierce predators. He is enlightened by the fact that in life fear is healthy but panic is deadly, a good motto to remember.
In life if you haven’t experienced true pain than you really can’t understand it and this story gives us some tear jerking moments that those of us that lived pain will embrace and reflect on our own true life experiences. On Jay’s birthday he not only gets several life changing presents from his mother but also the right spear to slay the giant from Frosty. Who would have thought a young boy from Santa Cruz would have become such a famous surfer? I guess he did along with anyone who really knew him. In the end, promises are kept, and tragedy occurs but lessons are learned and embraced by all. It truly is not how long a person lives there life but how!
A beautifully made film that will be loved by the surfer community as well as anyone with a sense for accomplishment in life. Nicely directed and well written with a wonderful score and awesome cinematography, the movie goer does not have to be a fan of surfing because this story offers so much more. It is truly a nice dedication to the memory of Jay Moriarity. Butler always seems to throw his heart and soul into his roles and once again he does not disappoint. I’m still a big fan of Shue and again it’s nice to see her on the big screen again. Spencer added a lot of depth and wisdom to her role and Rambin was a good distraction for Weston who I am unfamiliar with but after this role I think we’ll be seeing more of him on the big screen. Overall this film was quite enjoyable yet heart-breaking but it will leave you with the feeling to follow your dreams in life no matter what the final outcome may hold for you. Written and enjoyed with two and half paws out of four by Jon Patch.
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