Starring: Luke Bracey, Edgar Ramirez and Ray Winstone
Directed by: Ericson Core
Newly recruited FBI agent and former extreme sports star Johnny Utah goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of thrill seekers who are suspects in a number of sophisticated heists.
I was very skeptical when this movie was announced a few years ago as the original Point Break starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze is considered a classic by many and for me was a wonderful movie that didn’t require a remake. Over the course of the last few years Hollywood have made a habit of rehashing old movies and trying to make them for a new audience. A large percentage of these remakes/reboots are sub-standard and fail to match up to its predecessor and judging from its low user rating on IMDb Point Break just seemed to back that trend. Anyway, as skeptical and as hesitant as I initially was about this movie I wanted to make my own mind up and hope that the low rating was due to fanboys of the first one rating low because they didn’t like the idea of Hollywood meddling with one of their favourites rather than the movie being incredibly poor.
The beginning of the movie started off with Johnny Utah, played by Luke Bracey, and his extreme sports partner riding through dunes to please their sponsors and fans until his partner dies in a tragic accident. Fast forward a number of years and Utah has left behind his old life as he’s attempting to join the FBI. During his recruitment process a number of crimes and heists happen around the world and are committed by a small gang of unknown thrill seekers who are both elaborate with their getaway as well as incredibly organised. Utah uses his knowledge and background of the extreme sports world to get put on the case and quickly becomes attached to the suspects and when it comes down to choosing between his new found friends and his career, Johnny Utah chooses his career and hunts down gang leader Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez) and his accomplices before they vanish.
One of the main criticisms I have when I compare this Point Break to the original is the two main characters, Johnny Utah and Bodhi in the newer version aren’t likeable enough for me to get behind their cause. Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze made you care about their respective characters and that was part of the charm of the original movie but Luke Bracey and Edgar Ramirez are unable to do the same. Here, Bodhi is on some spiritual journey to give back to the earth what was taken from it and while it sounds very noble his cause makes no sense when he’s fine to kill police officers and commit any numerous crimes in the process of returning gold back to the mine from which it came, his moral compass seemed all over the place. Utah on the other hand just doesn’t come across as very likeable at all and I’m not sure whether it’s the way in which the character was written or whether Luke Bracey just dropped the ball but I found myself not caring what happened to either character in the end.
One of the things that I was impressed with within the movie was how visually beautiful it was. Some of the scenes were fantastically shot especially the first snowboarding scene off the coast of France as well as the snowboarding sequence. While I’m not a participant in either surfing or snowboarding there is something mesmerising about watching somebody risk their life in search of an adrenaline rush. Also the rock climbing scene in Venezuela was also great to watch as the stuntmen really earned their money in this movie. As good as some of these visually pleasing action sequences were for some reason one of the end scenes where Bodhi is in the middle of the ocean once again and is surfing the 100ft waves, the CGI looked absolutely dreadful. During the beginning of the movie it was fantastic but right at the end the movie let itself down with some shoddy looking storm surfing.
Overall, Point Break backed the trend of recent releases not being as good as their predecessors but it wasn’t all bad. The cinematography was really good it ultimately let down by some rather poor acting performances by Edgar Ramirez and especially Luke Bracey.