Regarding legendary MGM bathing beauty Esther Williams, producer Joe Pasternak once famously quipped, “Wet, she’s a star.”
So it goes with “Chasing Mavericks,” a biopic that features not enough stirringly gorgeous surfing footage and way too many clunky biopic clichés in telling the story of surf legend Jay Moriarity. With a storyline as by-the-numbers as a square dance, the movie’s one surprise comes with the closing credits — namely, that this trite “inspirational” movie is the product of two world-class filmmakers, Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted.
After a prologue in which eight-year-old Jay, already obsessed with the big waves, is rescued from drowning by his ten-hanging neighbor Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler), we meet our lead character at age 15 and played by Jonny Weston. A talented young surfer, Jay...