This remake of the classic bromantic action film stars Luke Bracey as FBI prospect Johnny Utah and Edgar Ramirez as the enigmatic Bodhi. Directed by Ericson Core (Invincable) this remake treads a similar path to the original as the FBI begin investigating a series of robin hood like robberies against corporations affiliated with America.
This time round Johnny Utah is a former extreme sports personality who has inexplicably decided to join the FBI following the death of a close friend. Not long after joining as a prospective agent he notices a pattern in a string of events that the FBI are investigating. The events appear first as robberies, a diamond factory in Mumbia and a money transfer over Mexico, but both times the spoils are given away to unsuspecting civilians. However Johnny notices more, the extreme nature of the getaways by the assailants leads Johnny to miraculously believe that the cases are linked and those involved are seeking to complete a series of dangerous ordeals known as the Ozaki 8. In order to prove his theory who seeks out the culprits and winds up infiltrating their group.
If Point Break is anything, it is a frustratingly poor film that struggles to find it’s own identity. The story is torn between being a straight up remake of the original, and forging its own path. Just when you think it’s beginning to break new ground and become its own beast, which it does on more than one occasion, a blunt reminder that it’s a cash in remake is thrown in your face. The most glaring of those reminders I utterly cringed at during the film, remember that scene which Hot Fuzz so lovingly sent up? Johnny has Bodhi in his sights, only to turn on his back and shoot into the air. A great moment in the original, a great moment in Hot Fuzz, a cheap rip off in this remake. The reason? There is absolutely no chemistry between Johnny and Bohdi whatsoever.
Edgar Ramirez is the only saving grace of the cast, fulfilling the seductive but mysterious role of Bohdi very well, but his counterpart Luke Bracey is just wooden and poor. Teresa Palmer’s Samsara is a waste of character, a flaky love interest with no weight in the film just shoe horned in because, well you need a love interest…don’t you? I honestly don’t know why Ray Winstone is in the film either, his character is pointless and serves absolutely zero purpose. However it isn’t really the actors faults, they did what they could with the material they were given and by all accounts that material was rubbish. The stunt work on the other hand is not rubbish, eschewing the use of effects and green screen (for the most part) the effort put in by the stunt workers is nothing short of phenomenal, it’s just a shame they weren’t a part of something better.
The entire film is just a series of extreme sport set pieces clumsily glued together by minimal character development and dialogue. These set pieces might be good to watch, but with no investment in the characters it makes them redundant. One other bright spot aside from Edgar Ramirez is the delightful scenery captured in the film. Director Ericson Core is primarily a cinematographer and it shows with his shot selection as we scan across beautiful dunes, towering waterfalls and deadly waves. The direction itself in the action scenes feels rushed, but the backdrop is fitting to elements of the story. The most enjoyable aspects of the film are when it shows signs of breaking free from the shackles of the original. The differing motives of the Bohdi and his group are refreshing, and the idea they were seeking to complete a series of trials to achieve nirvana has enough drive in it to base the film fully on that, so much so I feel the whole FBI angle could have been disposed of completely.
As a comparison to the original, it doesn’t compare, and barely has the legs to stand on it’s own identity. For what little redeeming features the film has, it isn’t worth sitting through the two hours to sift through the rubbish to find them. The ending is truly, truly appalling nonsense, the script is garbage and the film on a whole is wasted potential. It’s a true shame Edgar Ramirez used his talents on this film, because his acting deserves better, and Patrick Swayze’s legacy deserves more.