Review: POINT BREAK (2015) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Review: POINT BREAK (2015)

This POINT BREAK remake has its fair share of jaw-dropping stunts, but suffers from an overly-pretentious plot and bland acting.

When the first POINT BREAK remake trailer debuted online a few months ago, the response was terribly mixed. After all, this is POINT BREAK we are talking about here. The original movie of the same name, which starred Keanu Reeves as the rookie FBI undercover agent Johnny Utah and Patrick Swayze as surfer/bank robber Bodhi, was a box office success upon its release back in the summer of 1991. Stylishly directed by Kathryn Bigelow, POINT BREAK is one-of-its-kind summer movie that successfully blend the conventional action-movie formula with the intimate world of surfing. Frankly, the remake is really unnecessary. But like it or not, here it is. Despite the multiple inclusion of extreme-sport varieties, the 2015 version of POINT BREAK fails to re-ignite the same cinematic impact that the original version has successfully done in the past.


In this 2015 remake, Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) is a daredevil motocross rider who quit his sport following the tragic death of his best friend. He joins the FBI academy to become a rookie agent and subsequently assigned by his instructor (Delroy Lindo) on his first case to infiltrate a gang of thrill-seeking robbers, led by Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez).


Kudos go to director Ericson Core (INVINCIBLE), who also served as the cinematographer here, for capturing the action on camera using different camera devices such as GoPro and Red. The stunts, ranging from motocross riding to big wave surfing and wingsuit flying, are spectacular. Core, along with his creative team of stunt coordinators and technical crew has certainly given their all on delivering the extreme-sports action scenes as real as possible.


There are three action scenes that impress me the most: the big wave surfing between Utah and Bodhi at Teahupo'o, Tahiti; the wingsuit flying down the mountains of Walenstadt, Switzerland; and the freestyle rock climbing at Venezuela's Angel Falls.


While the stunts are top notch, the same cannot be said for the plot and characters. First of all, screenwriters Kurt Wimmer and W. Peter Iliff takes thing too seriously on the spiritual enlightenment angle and the faux-philosophical metaphor regarding the eight ordeals of the "Ozaki 8". Such serious-minded approach made the movie less fun than it supposed to be. 

The characters also fall short of expectations, with Australian actor Luke Bracey's lead performance is as wooden as a piece of plank. Edgar Ramirez is definitely no match for Patrick Swayze, and even if I don't make the comparison, his performance as Bodhi is neither charismatic nor intriguing enough to make him a worthwhile anti-villain. As the only major female character in this movie, Teresa Palmer delivers an almost non-existent, yet forgettable performance as Utah's love interest, Samsara. Delroy Lindo does little to elevate his typical authority role above mediocrity as Utah's FBI instructor, while Ray Winstone is equally wasted here with his less-than-enthusiastic performance as Pappas, a role previously essayed by Gary Busey in the original version.

As a cinematographer, Core knows a thing or two about camera angles. However, his decision on mixing grainy stock and bluish-green filter makes the otherwise US$100 million blockbuster looks as visually annoying as one of those cheap B-grade direct-to-DVD action movies.


Fan of extreme sports, as well as those looking for a quick action fix might find this an entertaining movie to check out for. But for the rest of us, this 2015 version is nothing more than an extended video of various extreme sports footage stitched together into a two-hour movie.

* This review is written courtesy from TGV press screening *

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