Point Break Movie Review
So that just happened. They remade Point Break because that’s what studios do, and the result is about what you’d expect. Sadly, some surprisingly tense extreme sports scenes are countered by a putrid screenplay and dull characters that make you roll your eyes at their stupidity.
Director Ericson Core, whose only other big directing gig was for the mildly entertaining football flick Invincible, actually does a serviceable job, at least when it comes to the various extreme sport sequences that serve as the highlights of the film. Whether the characters are surfing, flying in wingsuits, snowboarding off cliffs or, inexplicably, climbing Angel Falls (WTF?), Core does a fine job of making you sweat a bit. They are exciting and suspenseful.
The other 70% of the movie, the less said the better.
But what would be the fun in that?
I honestly hadn’t seen the 1991 version of Point Break, which starred Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, since 1991, and made a point to watch it before reviewing this remake. Having now re-watched that film, I’ll say this: while Keanu Reeves is Keanu Reeves and the screenplay isn’t exactly Oscar-worthy, it’s a legitimately entertaining and plausible action-thriller with great chemistry between the two leads.
The new Point Break is anything but.
It’s understandable that the sports aspects of the film had to be amped up for a 21st century audience--the stuff in the original isn’t exactly groundbreaking these days--but that doesn’t excuse how badly the film misfires everywhere else. The innards of the original--you know, the plot about an FBI agent infiltrating a group of surfers/bank robbers--have been ripped out and replaced with a less coherent version of the same story. The non-sport action scenes are downright bland, and the plot makes little sense. The crimes are inexplicably pushed to the background.
Luke Bracey is okay essentially doing his best “wooden Keanu Reeves,” though even he can’t pull off the silly shooting-his-gun-into-the-air-while-screaming homage that Core and somehow-still-employed screenwriter Kurt Wimmer (who wrote the awful Ultraviolet and the forgettable Total Recall remake) insert into the movie for some reason. Sadly, he has no chemistry with Édgar Ramírez--who lacks the charisma of Patrick Swayze.
Despite all its flaws, the movie has its entertaining moments--but they are all for naught as Point Break completely falls off a cliff in its final act. The climax (spoiler) features the two leads racing each other up the slippery, half-mile-high cliffs at Angel Falls and then, moments later, jumping off without a parachute or ropes. They both survive, and it makes no fucking sense whatsoever.
Point Break didn’t need to be a smart movie to be successful, but it did need to be more than just a highlight reel of extreme sport stunts. The original still holds up well, and buying it will cost less than it will to go see this piece of stupidity in theaters.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.