If your movie doesn’t have Gary Busey, don’t even bother.
Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) was, at one time in his life, a very famous and well-known motocross rider who, for the most part, risked his life on more than a few occasions for the thrill and rush of it all. But after tragedy struck, Johnny realized that it was probably best to cease the riding and stick to a much safer, more relaxing job. This is when Utah joins up with the FBI where, at first, all he does is pencil-pushing. Then, Utah gets to thinking about these mysterious series of crimes that keep happening where a group of criminals perform extreme stunts to steal money and other valuables, but instead of keeping it for themselves, give it those who need it the most: The poor. Because Utah believes that he is like these men, whoever they may be, he does his hardest to convince his superiors to allow him to go out into the field and track these guys down. Eventually, he finds them, and meets their cool leader Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez). Together, Utah and Bodhi form a friendship that transcends just doing crazy stunts together, which makes Utah forget about what he was sent out to do in the first place.
First off, did we really need a Point Break remake? Most definitely not. However, in a day and age where there seems to be a new reboot/rehash/remake/spin-off in the works and released to the masses, it comes as almost no surprise that the powers that be within Hollywood decided, “Why not?”, when it came to the idea of giving the 1991, beloved bro-classic original a remake. Which isn’t to say that every remake ever made, is a bad one – it’s just to say that sometimes, certain movies don’t need to be remade in the first place.
Especially if your remake isn’t going to be all that good in the first place.
And yes, the Point Break remake, all issues with the idea of remakes aside, is not a very good movie. But the problem with it is that it seems like it’s trying hard to actually be one; perhaps maybe a bit too hard, but hey, at least there’s an effort on the movie’s part. Most of this is due to the fact that director Ercison Core really seems as if he’s interested in making this Point Break movie all about the cool, over-the-top, and daring-as-hell extreme stunts that take-up a solid portion of this movie.
While the original was about riding wild and gnarly waves, the remake is more about jumping off of the highest mountains and gliding around in ultra-tight spandex. Because Core makes the decision to shoot all of these crazy stunts in a natural way, they feel more realistic and exciting than they would had he decided to take the easy way out and just let the CGI do the talking. Even the surfing sequence in the beginning of the movie feels real, due to the waves being real, but once the surfers themselves actually start riding the waves, then it becomes obvious that it’s just computer-trickery working its magic and it takes you right out.
And considering that at least 45 minutes of Point Break is just a bunch of ripped, way-too-masculine dudes performing wild stunts, just because they want to “feel free”, it should be said that these are the minutes of the movie that work best. They don’t care too much about character-development, moving the story along, or even focusing on what the point of all of it is – it’s just a bunch of dudes climbing mountains, hand-crafting fires, snowboarding down dangerous cliffs, and much more. So no, the remake is not as bad as I expected it to be.
But yes, it’s still pretty bad.
Because even despite these numerous scenes, the movie is still, believe it or not, pretty damn boring. Considering that the movie is nearly two-hours long, with at least 45 of it being cool-to-look-at stunts, that means there’s about an hour-and-15-minutes left where it’s just bunch of stonewall characters talking to one another about liberation, occasionally fighting one another and, oh yeah, Ray Winstone showing up just to collect a paycheck because, hey, why the hell not!
And this isn’t anything to fully hold against Core because he seems like he’s trying to do something with the direction of the story, but the script is just not there. None of the fun, vibrant flair of the original’s screenplay is anywhere to be found, nor is the emotion of how frustrated and torn Johnny Utah should be in this situation. Also, the characters themselves can be so bland and poorly-written, that really, it doesn’t matter if they live another day to climb another mountain, or die by falling-off of one – all that matters is that they take us one step closer to getting to the end of the movie.
Which I know makes this sound like I’m saying that the original Point Break was the greatest movie ever made and not without any of its own issues, because it definitely is. It’s corny, over-the-top and, above all else, silly. But you know what? It’s also fun, pretty hilarious, and downright cool, in a sorta-retro way that most movies from the early-90’s are. This Point Break, for some odd reason, just feels like a cash-grab that somebody thought was a good idea to do again, yet, didn’t actually think through how it would actually work.
Instead, we’re left with a bunch of people who don’t seem to care, or if they do, aren’t trying hard enough to make even the best parts of this material, work.
I don’t know if Luke Bracey was trying to do a Keanu Reeves impersonation here or not, but whatever he’s going for, just isn’t quite clicking. He’s painfully dry, uninteresting and most importantly, lacking any sort of trait that would make it understandable as to why he would go from being an extreme motocross driver to then, all of a sudden, becoming an FBI agent. We get that his friend died early on in the movie, hence why the sudden change in employment, but the FBI? Really?
As for Edgar Ramirez, the guy already had a lot to live up to with trying to take over a role held by the iconic Patrick Swayze and, well, it’s a shame to say but the role eats him up. Ramirez does definitely try to make all of these hippie-ish sayings sound compelling and wise, but really, he ends up sounding like a dude who took one too many bong hits. Same goes for Teresa Palmer as Samsara, Utah’s love-interest and possible villain, who is definitely hot and spicy, but has such a boring personality, that it makes the perfect argument for Utah just saying, “Well, bro, the chick was sexy, man.”
And that’s about all I can say for this.
Consensus: Despite it being unnecessary, there are certain moments of fun and excitement within the remake of Point Break, but mostly, they don’t do much to carry the boredom and dryness that the rest of the film, as well as the talented cast, swims under.
3.5 / 10