Apple followers might have heard of “Mavericks,” as announced by CEO Tim Cook at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, as the latest iteration of the Mac OSX operating system, complete with a new tealed and epic wallpaper shot of a tremendous curling wave, apparently the first in a new trend of naming releases after locales in California that inspire the Apple boffins. Chasing Mavericks, as the name suggests, is a movie as aspirationally titled as it sounds – a kind of Waves Of Thunder – but sadly, puzzlingly, given the talent behind the lens, harnessing about as much excitement and cathartic exhilaration as the news of a software release.
That is, non-Apple fans, not much. Odd indeed that from the directors who gave us 8 Mile, L.A. Confidential, Gorillas In The Mist and The World Is Not Enough, should emerge such a bloodless tale of surfer legend Jay Moriarty, a natural-born wave-rider who perished at the tender age of 22 in 2001. The trappings are certainly staple enough to conjure some kind of blood-pumping; an 8-year-old Jay is saved from drowning by his surfer neighbour Frosty Hesson (Butler, decent) and is warned of the savage and untameable nature of the rolling ocean. 8 years later, Jay seeks out a curmudgeonly Frosty, who, softened by his wife Brenda (Spencer), agrees to tutor Jay Mr. Miyagi-style – writing essays, holding his breath as long as possible – the “foundation pillars of surfing” as he calls them. It’s all very predictable, even if the true nature of the tale excuses some of the more trite emotional narrative beats, and while the performances are earnest enough, there’s a palpable lack of excitement not even competent and dynamic aerial footage of surfers cruising through tunnels of water and a rousing Zimmer-like score can muster.