Chasing Mavericks opened in theaters today, and the reviews have been coming as fast and furious as the waves. With big actors (Gerard Butler), perhaps bigger surfers (Greg Long, Peter Mel, Zach Wormhoudt) and a story centered around Jay Moriarity, a man who has inspired countless groms, many in the surf community had the hopes that the film would be the lifevest for a Hollywood drowning in terrible surf flicks.
While it's not looking like that's the case (critics have, thus far, criticized everything from the plot to the acting), one thing that most have agreed upon: The waves, and the surfing itself, are spectacular.
Whether you decide to drop into the theater to check out the flick is up to you. But if you want some guidance, here are highlights from what the world has said.
"Chasing Mavericks is pretty much The Karate Kid goes surfing."
—Tom Long, The Detroit News
"Chasing Mavericks succeeds in relating Jay Moriarity’s resilience and courage to a broader audience, which makes it a valuable addition to a short list of Hollywood surf films."
—Zach Weisberg, The Intertia
"The surfers and the surfing, along with the natural beauty of the California coastline, help balance the movie’s weak areas, including its lamentably one-dimensional protagonist."
"It's a surf flick that doesn't make you want to stand up and shout in your best Jeff Spicoli voice, 'Dude, this is garbage, bro!' "
—Mark Conley, Santa Cruz Sentinel
"With dialogue that sounds taken from fortune cookie messages and motivational posters, Chasing Mavericks sticks to its mission of inspiration and dedication as Jay and Frosty the surfman forge a father-son-like bond we can see coming from the first frame."
—Linda Barnard, The Toronto Star
“A family movie of aggravating blandness.”
—Wesley Morris, Boston Globe on Rotten Tomatoes
"Chasing Mavericks is about surfin' USA—specifically some of the biggest breakers on the continent...Those waves are the uncontested stars of the movie."
—Claudia Puig, USA TODAY
“Chasing Mavericks doesn’t stray too far from the inspirational sports movie playbook: it’s got a talented kid, a wise mentor, and a big obstacle to overcome. And that’s part of the problem, critics say.”
—Staff, Washington Street Journal
"Chasing Mavericks is occasionally lightweight and unnecessarily corny, but it’s also profound and inspirational."
—David Blaustein, ABC News
"The sinking feeling starts as soon as Chasing Mavericks opens, with Gerard Butler’s solemn narration: “We all come from the sea,” he intones, “but we are not all of the sea.” Profound, dude."
—Elizabeth Weitzman, NY Daily News
"The star of Chasing Mavericks doesn't really get to do a lot until about three quarters of the way through the movie. But when that time comes, it ranks as one of the most commanding movie hijackings of the year. "
—Wallace Baine, Santa Cruz Sentinel
"The tsunami of schmaltzy melodrama ... threatens to swamp the proceedings, which at heart are actually kind of thrilling and inspirational."
—Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post on Rotten Tomatoes
What did you think? Tell us in the comments.