A remake resembling nothing of the original and devoid of any meaning under its mask of sophistication.
The original Point Break starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves was a simple, efficient run of an action film as an FBI agent infiltrates a group of surfers to investigate an ongoing case of bank robbery. Though the plot was somewhat implausible, it was largely efficient in establishing characters that have now become cult classics.
The 2015 Point Break however, expands the original singularly placed sport of surfing into a variety of extreme sports, dubbing it the 8 Osaki Ordeals. 8 impossible feats that would challenge the human physique to its extreme and bring the realization of pure spiritual enlightenment upon completion. Already seeming like a basket case of madness, the athletes following the ordeals are also subjected to completing an act of ‘return’ after each feat, including sprinkling thousands of diamonds into the Mumbai slums, flowering the jungle with millions of US dollars and blasting a gold mine literally to halt the act against nature.
Thereby, the film establishes a silly, but nonetheless initially fascinating premise; coupling with the stunning footage of these daring acts, the film promises a lot to deliver, and expectedly, it didn’t.
The original Point Break, though also with a focus on spiritual alignment with nature, still has its head in storytelling as it places the spotlight mainly on the developing relationships between protagonist Johnny Utah and the gang of rebel surfers. 2015 P.B. doesn’t do much in regards to character development, rather it replaces precious dialogue times with minutes of snowboarding, wingsuit flying or free rock climbing, all of which appear to be exhilarating adrenaline pumpers, yet without a plot to lead and organize such amazing photography they are nothing of the sort but instead quite a snooze. It’s as if screenwriter Kurt Wimmer was intentionally trying to avoid establishing conversations, whether it’s for better highlighting the Ordeals or simply his mistake of proportioning between actions and talks, it wasn’t done right.
There is an appealing mysteriousness that shrouds the film, which is a good distinction from the original considering it’s a remake. But though it doesn’t necessarily overcomplicates itself, it certainly does lack the freshness and immediacy of the original, there’s no reason plausible enough to convince us that the story is real, instead the events progress in a random motion that seem to be occasionally here and there but never with enough build-up to match the pieces together.
The thrill of the original features a constant display of action, were it to be shooting or car chases they always deliver enough to grab our attention. In the new production these elements are quite concentrated in one place, and frankly aren’t as masterfully executed as Kathryn Bigelow’s sequences. There’s absolutely no excitement that could compare to Reeves two steps behind Swayze, the subsequent deaths demonstrates furthermore the film’s lack of development, as we simply do not care enough for the characters’ physical injury or mental traumas, any twists that exist in the third act is itself already non-existential as the audiences’ interests plummet.
Casting wise Luke Bracey (The November Man, The Best of Me) lacks the head-strong attitude of Reeves, and Édgar Ramírez (The Bourne Ultimatum, Wrath of the Titans) in the part of Bodhi does possess some charm, however could not compare with Swayze’s fun-loving, stubborn yet controlling and authoritative approach to the character. Theresa Palmer could have made a charming Tyler, or in this case Samsara, however as the plot completely abandons her part in the end and the beginning, she now serves little purpose, amounting nothing other than contributing to the limited female presence to the scene.
Overall, cinematographer turned director Ericson Core who previously shot the atrocious Daredevil and the watchable The Fast and The Furious; who also helmed the decent Invincible proves himself to be a worthy capturer of extreme sports, however as a story teller his new Point Break offers less than nothing as its emptiness strips us of our senses to appreciate the otherwise brilliant visual aspect of the film.
In theatres Australia wide from 1st of January
MPAA Rating: PG-13
ACB Rating: M
Run Time: 114 min
An overzealous film critic wannabe, Henry Pan makes a trip down cinema lane once a week, in order to decrease his ever-increasing massive watch list.