Point Break (2015)
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Unfortunately, in between all of those moments is a pretty boring plot line with characters that you never really care about.
If you like mindless action (nothing wrong with that) then you will probably like this movie - although most of the "action" is extreme sports, not really guns.
Apparently I have to write at least ten lines of text, but honestly there isn't much more to say about the movie!
Point Break is a bafflingly unsolicited remake of the 1991 cult classic of the same name. It is directed by Ericson Core, a good filmmaker who directed the 2006 Invincible, a film which is criminally underrated. When I found out that Point Break was being remade I shuddered in fear, but I when I learned that Core was directing the film, I immediately changed my tune, as I hold Invincible in such high regard, as it truly is an under appreciated film for the ages.
Point Break 2015 is grotesque.
I am not inherently adverse to remakes and reboots, and I am not at all a purist, I am perfectly fine with rebooting material and straying from source material if it serves the story well. What had happened here is that the studio has produced a garden variety action movie and slapped a name on it purely for the sake of brand recognition.
The film exceeds expectations in the sense that this a slickly produced action film with a completely rad soundtrack. The camera work, framing and editing leave everything on the proverbial field. There isn't anything new going on here, but it's produced in a professional manner and the action scenes are handled with extreme care.
And along comes the story, instead of our group of guys pulling bank jobs to fund adrenaline junkie lifestyles, the action men of 2015 are self aware crusaders, too cool for school, hipsters on a self imposed mission from God. Every character in this film is ball- kickingly annoying. The problem is that not one of the main characters are in possession of a redeemable quality and their motivations are completely nonsensical, they are all essentially unknowingly pseudo intellectuals.
If this movie had been titles virtually anything else I may have given it a 4 or 5 out of 10, rather than a three, though the unnecessarily and intentionally sanitized PG13 vibe completely disrupts any potential the film may have had in the first place.
It's not good, it stinks.
No sir, I don't like it.
Story revolves around Utah (Luke Bracey), an FBI trainee as he investigates a series of heists and their connection to a group of athletes led by Bodhi (Édgar Ramírez). As one might expect, it follows the same trail that Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze has placed. The new leads do what they can, although it's better to watch this without comparing, because it certainly doesn't have the same caliber of star or chemistry.
The plot then dives head first into uncharted territory. It's littered with so much "save the planet" preachy acts as the writing struggles to place FBI agent in the hippie nirvana angle. The motivation is just a mess of random vague one-liners, even the on-screen characters are perplexed by it. There's a romance subplot, but this is mainly to show the attractive Teresa Palmer as eye candy for several short scenes.
The movie is actually better when they just show the crazy sequences instead of forcing its lackluster story. It has plethora of impressive feats, from high heaven wingsuit flying, the climb on hazardous urban streets and natural cliffs, to the surfing of gigantic waves. This is the level of stunt choreography xXx and Fast and Furious wish they had.
When camera pans into the right angle and lighting, as the sounds is muffled by throbbing tune of the fast music, Point Break reaches the zenith. It's miles beyond what typical action flick could offer, but sadly it's repeatedly interrupted by the shoddy story, which feels like an excuse to fly across the globe to do random cool tricks.
If viewed only on the grand mix of cinematography and choreography, Point Break is exquisite, this would have been a great documentary of extreme sport. However, as action movie, the story is so pretentious, it simply serves as speed bump to hamper the thrill.
So Point Break is now about the stunts, but just like most action movies today, it also had to strip away personality. So whenever we see the cops, and even the daredevils, interact, it's just not so entertaining. One of the charms of the original, while it had some great action sequences, even the characters are interesting to watch. Even if it's trifle, it's still worth spending your time. Now, it somehow becomes uninteresting filler, especially the love interest. Remember when Utah had to lie about his backstory to earn her trust? Well, now they just easily hook up and nothing else, until some twist happens or something like that. Utah and Bodhi aren't as engaging, either. They're mostly spewing exposition, while Bodhi is basically acting like a parody of someone from a New Age religion. Their intention of becoming Robin Hoods is kind of vague as well, but I guess no one thinks it actually matters.
What's really worth groaning is when it's really trying to replicate the original; not by heart or personality, but by scene. They did the Ex- Presidents, even though one of them is wearing an Obama mask despite of taking place in 2015, but they only did it once, probably because there isn't much room for this fan service. Also the iconic scene involving Utah shooting up the air, which apparently Hot Fuzz did it better. And the epilogue is horrendously shoehorned, like it's nothing more than a tip off the hat, because... it's not Point Break without it, I guess?
However, there are some things to at least like in this film. The action is kind of stunning; the fact that they're visually more realistic to look at than most CG-fest that blockbusters tend to feed us (except for the epilogue which is too obvious.) Maybe the best among them is the rock climbing sequence where it goes from wide shots to dirty hand shots of seeing how much they'd grip. Luke Bracey isn't quite bad as an action hero, but he seriously needs a better material than this. Edgar Ramirez is probably just stuck with a blandly written Bodhi and really stays stick-in-the-mud with whatever he says about nature. Ray Winstone, though a good actor, is just not the memorably delightful Papas that Gary Busey established. And the movie wouldn't be any different if Teresa Palmer's role was written off.
And Point Break (2015) is just another needless remake. There are ideas that could have been utilized more, but it's too burdened by both action movie clichés and the fact that it is being Point Break. It's not a good undercover cop thriller, nor a good bromantic film. And you better off watching an actual stunt show, which at least doesn't make you get through to its drab expositions and the fact that it's more real and not embellished by any special effects. Then again, the effects aren't bad, but that's not the point. You may give it credit for heightening something from the original, but it doesn't do that well either. The fact how unnatural the homages are made for this remake makes it even more frustrating to watch.
It's one of those movies that's so bad they can't even keep basic details straight, such as they drive off a boat at night time for a swim, but it's clearly daytime once they get underwater.
There are some scenes that have literally no bearing on the story at all...such as the scene at the pier when the FBI UK guy is randomly pulling a boat out of the water.
The time-line of just about every event makes no sense at all.
The characters have nothing at all about them; they all seems to merge into one hipster bearded blob on the screen and the only way i managed to tell them apart was from their color coded outfits.
Making Kathryn Bigalow's well-liked 1991 original seem like a work of Shakespeare, Ericson Core's update of the relatively simple story of fun-loving FBI agent Johnny Utah infiltrating a group of extreme sports enthusiasts that happen to be criminals is here turned into some type of "giving back to nature" eco conscious athletes that just happen to like messing with the rich corporations ruining mother nature (don't even try to understand the Osaki 8 that keeps popping up here) and Johnny Utah is turned into a clearly Australian, motocross riding, badly tattooed (seriously how many tattooed people can be in one movie?) agent that gets to to be involved in one of the most hilarious on screen deaths in some time (in the film's opening 5 minutes!) and somehow possesses even less charisma than Keanu Reeves (yes, the unthinkable has occurred). But if you think lame motocross related deaths and dodgy eco warriors are the worst of this films problems, then think again.
Director Core and his team seemingly sat down at a table and in the space of 30 or so minutes designed a serious of supposedly breathtaking stunts that span the globe and while they look great in a location sense, the actual transpiring of events are so downright unbelievable that any sense of fun or excitement is taken away by the fact it's just too daft to care.
From downhill snowboarding, random unnecessarily dangerous rock climbing, perfectly used wing suit fly byes, an exploding rock strewn mountain face and perhaps worst of all, a reimaging of the wave clad finale of the original, Point Break seems intent on becoming some type of hybrid of Fast and the Furious but forgets to make sure that the occurrences happening here are indeed fun and frenetic, rather than overdone and frequently unengaging.
At the end of the day one could go on and one about the many failures of Point Break but none of it comes as a surprise, as from the moment this remake was announced and then from the very first glimpses of the films atrocious trailer no one expected this waste of $100 million dollars plus to be anything more than a disposable piece of Hollywood trash. With no heart, no soul and with a bunch of uninvolving characters, this film is a waste of time that gets a bonus mark for its intrigue factor as a solidified sunken ship, it's just a shame it took down two up and coming Australian actors in the form of Luke Bracey and Teresa Palmer with it.
1 mink blanket out of 5
In fairness, the extreme sports scenes are pretty awesome. The cinematography is crystal-clear and the exotic locations are picturesque. As an extreme sports video, it excels.
As an action movie or caper, it is less impressive.
The greatest problem is that none of the characters are particularly likable or charismatic. Personally, I think one major problem is the horrendous tattoos that most of the central characters sport over much of their bodies. Having worked as a photographer and cinematographer, I am no fan of tattoos. To me, they suggest low-class, criminal background, lack of self-respect and many other negative character traits. There are some tattoos that are inoffensive, even impressive – but not in this movie. When I see these tattoos, my first reaction is that I have never been that drunk or that stupid or uncultured.
In the original, Bodhi's crew had goals and motives that made sense. Here, we have a group of athletes with improbable skills, all of whom share an exotic philosophy and a disdain for profit. The surf Nazi red herrings are gone, as is Utah's need to acquire skills in order to join the group. The whole Utah-Bodhi bromance seems less credible and less compelling. The antagonists are cast as eco-warriors; however, somehow it doesn't make them sympathetic. They are financed by an eccentric multi-billionaire, which seems more contrived than organic.
At one point, the FBI had very strict standards for its agents. They were expected to dress and conduct themselves in conformance with relatively conservative standards. The notion that the FBI would accept a long-haired, extensively tattooed candidate stretches credulity to the limits, as does much of the rest of the film. However, as a direct-to-video extreme sports video, it would be quite impressive.
What does it feel like to be truly free? It requires not only the external circumstance of being able to do "what you want" to do. It requires physical fitness, stamina, and your own inner choice to be free, regardless of the constraints of society. Doing what you believe and choose against all odds, taking the consequences for your actions, and then to know what it is to live without fear. FEARLESS.
How many fearless people are reviewing this movie? There are few in the world, my friend, and I am one of them. This movie resonates with me for that reason.
No thought went into planning this narrative. It starts with two motocross riders jumping between rock faces. One of them is Utah (Australian actor Luke Bracey), who watches as his friend falls to his death. The film forwards seven years to when Utah has joined the FBI and is under the watch of Instructor Hall (Delroy Lindo), who doubts Utah's commitment and calls him son a lot. Since Utah was once a motocross rider in the extreme sports circle, he magically has the background information about the activity of the dangerous gang of extreme sports criminals Hall is chasing. It's mega stupid and as contrived as the stunts themselves. The gang, best described as a hodgepodge of philosophers, hippies, extremists and Mountain Dew sports stars, is performing a ritual called the Osaki 8. The Osaki 8 involves eight different extreme sports trials, some of which are criminal activities but others are plain stunts including surfing and mountain climbing. The transition between these set pieces is embarrassing. When Utah bombs out in an early surfing attempt, the gang saves him from drowning by bringing him onto their boat. He's recognised as a famous motocross rider from all those years ago but everyone, at least at this point, is oblivious that this not-exactly-inconspicuous surfer dude has been training as a cop and is allowed to freely explore the boat of the gang leader Bodhi (Joy's Édgar Ramírez). The other members of the gang, including Teresa Palmer as a brief love interest, barely register at all so you won't give two hoots about them and they aren't even smart enough to background check Utah before initiating him. More criminal than the stunts is how Ray Winston as Utah's partner Pappas, a potentially good replacement for Gary Busey's comic relief character, is inconsequential through much of the film except when questioning if Utah is overly enjoying the gang life. But since we don't care about the other gang members, what's the point in blurring the two lines of the law?
Does every blockbuster have to be self-serious now because it worked so well in the Nolan Batman films? Whereas Bigelow's film meshed action and comedy, this remake doesn't have a funny side at all. Instead, Bodhi's long, boring monologues about giving back to the earth (what?) are serious delusions this film has about becoming meaningful. But even watching the film solely for the stunts is futile. The film's marketing has emphasised how the stunts are performed by actual stuntmen as opposed to employing special effects. But given the stunts often have nothing to do with the gang's criminal activities, like the surfing, gliding and snowboarding sequences, we're watching a stunt showcase that's completely aloof from the plot. Similarly, the apparent realism of the stunts is malarkey since some are about as plausible as a Looney Tune's cartoon. Driving down mountain slopes ahead of an avalanche, through a dense forest on bikes and climbing mountains with just his bare hands will make you think that the FBI has really intensified its training or Utah has spent a lot of time with the Avengers. The only good things about the film are its brief reference to the bank robber masks of the original and that this boring pile falls under the two hour mark. It's a small victory for anyone who is foolish enough to pay money to see it. I lied and will reiterate: don't pay money to see this because you're only encouraging movies like this with boring action and such carelessness towards the story. It's a black eye to the fans of the original who might have given this disaster a chance.
Newest Point Break" by Ericson Core is such a schematic and predictable, as every movie created only for visual effects, wchich have been so important for screenwriters. However, the plot seems to be only a minor supplement. Who cares, right? So, what do we get here? A threadbare story, wchich tries to stole as much as it's possible from the original. Young FBI agent, with embarrassing past, must infiltrate the mysterious organization suspected of many crimes, committed with the help of their amazing sport skills. Do you fill familiar with this description? By replacing some words, you could easily come with a conclusion that many action movies are the same, for example The Fast and the Furious" and also Bigelow's Point Break". Thanks to the forceful action sequence pictures and technics how they were taken, we may partly forget about mediocre plot. It looks like, Core hasn't known about that. And he probably still doesn't. Because of that, his Point Break" is more condensed around crass plot, rather than around extreme sports.
Such things like crazy and dangerous stunts on surfboards and snowboards, motocross rides and jumps from planes have been reduced to minimum. These are a few scenes, wchich have turned out really all right. It shouldn't be a big surprise, because Core was a director of photography at such productions as The Fast and the Furious" and 2003's Daredevil", what gave him a necessary experience in this field. Although, it doesn't mean, that he should have neglected all the other features of the movie like good plot or characters. All of these features are only the caricatures of their archetypes from 1999, without any natures, starred by the stiff actors. They look more like the sect of insane ecologists, rather than a division of athletes.
New version of Point Break" ignores every kind of basic elements of good movie: well-written plot, interesting characters and most of all a dynamic action. It's one of the worst kind of productions, wchich creators hopped that, a few good action scenes would build up the whole film. Unfortunately, they were mistaken. It doesn't work like this.
This remake sees extreme sports athlete Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) who after losing a friend when a motocross stunt goes wrong goes on to become a FBI agent some years later. His boss Hall (Delroy Lindo) sends him to investigate a series of elaborate heists from a gang who behave like Robin Hood robbers.
Utah believes that the group are taking part in the Ozaki 8, eight spiritually extreme sport challenges that coincide with the daring robberies. Utah infiltrates the gang which is led by Bodhi (Édgar Ramírez.)
In its own right the film starts brightly enough with plenty of CGI enhanced action but later on the film actually comes to a stop in the non action sequences when the characters just talk. The film then becomes boring and after a while even the action scenes just get duller. The colour grading is awful making the film look cheap despite the international locations.
The original Point Break directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who would go on to become the first female Oscar winning director found a zeitgeist of Generation X sports action thriller with well staged action sequences. Although not the greatest actors around, Bigelow got charismatic turns from Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze and sturdy support from Gary Busey as Reeves FBI boss.
The remake lacks all of this even though it tried to go on a new direction. I tried to give it a break and approached it with an open mind but alas it is a poor film.
Also, I find the extreme-sports-nature sequences breathtaking and beautiful and full of high energy action. There are also some inspiring ideals along the way: "the break point, the point where fear becomes master and you the slave..."
I understand Core's approach and Kurt Wimmer's screen-writing logic: a story of friendship with a crazy philosophical twist and rebellion turned into criminal. The natural wonders are fantastic! Huge surf waves, Alps, and Angel Falls.
Yes I'm biased... I'm from Venezuela, and I think Edgard Ramirez did a spectacular job with his character and Angel Falls are magnificent! Luke Bracey as Johnny Utah is heartfelt and charismatic. Roach, Chowder, Grommet, Pappas, and Samsara were great too. All straightforward and minimal dialogue.
Did you know that the climbing of Auyantepui was real? The line and bolts were digitized out, but it was and experience of a lifetime for these climbers. Chris Sharma, Peter Croft, and Dany Andrada were the stunt doubles. The behind-the-scenes video is astounding!
One big mistake? To have marketed this movie as a remake of Point Break 1991: it's inspired by it but another story. And yes, there are problems with the plot and character development, but that's because the focus is on the visual story more than dialogue. Another major problem is that the writing and the dialogue lines are too abstract and metaphoric and ambiguous. It's not clear at times what Bodhi means or what Johnny Utah wants. I think I got it and I enjoyed the film, but I can see how it can be confusing to audiences. Teresa Palmer's lines too are full of philosophical ideas that sound abstract as well.
In this version, Bodhi is a protégé of Osaki, a fictionalized eco-warrior with the idea of saving Earth by performing 8 ordeals (this is the fiction). But Osaki was killed by a whaling ship when he was "giving back"... Later, Bodhi follows Osaki's steps, but he has taken the wrong path. Bohdi wants to accomplish his 8-ordeals to become one with the Earth and give back through criminal/sabotage acts. However, there's good in Bodhi, for he saves Utah's life for some unknown compassionate reason(??). Perhaps Osaki saved Bodhi's life once just like in Utah's situation? It would've been great to see the setup story for Bodhi as well. Yet, Bodhi is determined and he doesn't care he is killing people and destroying assets when he "gives back to Earth."
Without the crime, these guys would be extreme-sports crusaders for mother Earth's wonders: which would be a whole different story - perhaps I'll write a new Point Break screenplay inspired by this version of Point Break (I'm a screen writing student).
Then we have Johnny Utah, a former extreme-sports turned FBI agent, but we don't learn why he specifically joins the FBI. The film would have benefited from additional minutes to set up the characters better and explore their deeper emotional motives. That's what's lacking. Utah goes undercover to find out why these extreme-athletes are committing crimes, only to get too involved to be able to stop them: part of Utah relishes in the chaos and he enters into a conflict with himself. Utah however, is the perfect agent to pursue the extreme-sports criminals. But his longing for the sport and his gratitude to Bodhi are stronger than his FBI mission. And worse yet for the mission: Utah has a soft-heart and Bodhi knows that. Utah owes him his life. Utah is in a great dilemma - apprehend and kill the very person that saved his life?
In the end, the power of gratitude and kindness prevails in Utah. And he gets back his passion for life. And the bad guys find their fate...
Enjoy. Best wishes.
Who the hell let this turkey escape?
The original was silly enough.
Anyone who ever surfed would know that most surfers don't own an alarm clock or even possess the sort of intellect required to shoplift a Mars bar, let alone orchestrate a bank heist.
Hollywood keeps throwing out crap like this to each unsuspecting new generation (every 25 years) and it gets dumber and dumber.
Want to watch a surfing movie? Big Wednesday.
Heist movie? Point Blank with Lee Marvin.
I've yet to see a remake (there is no such thing as a 'reboot' - unless you work in Hollywood or for its associated media) that bettered the original.
I see there are a lot of haters out there but they must not have seen it or just have some need to preserve their childhood memories. I don't know - I admired the action and the beautiful look.
It may be true the story is simple and the emotional involvement depends on how jaded you are, but the sheer greatness of the action scenes was worth it to me. If you haven't seen it you'll never know.
There is a group of more or less young people who live on the edge, always seeking the most intense feeling of "being alive" which they only find in extreme activities, following Achilles' motto of "better a short life as lions than a long life as sheeps". As one of them says, "we all will die. The question is how". They are outsiders. They would never be able to live a "life" of routine, office-home-bills. They do not like this system and they show it with a series of no-killing crimes on the "Robin Hood" style, like stealing money from a Plane and making it fall down so that people can take it (it's on the trailer, no spoiling here). "Giving it back", they say. They do indeed also make profit in order to finance their next extreme activities. But they never steal from poor people. Only from the system. So, they have a moral, THEIR moral, which is neither black nor white. But they are not "evil". That's why the FBI agent, who is sent to infiltrate them, is somehow fascinated by them and for a while cannot understand anymore on which side he is.
Anyway, they are not "good" either. You can feel that there is something dark, in their way of playing with death there on the edge, pursuing the legendary (apparently fictional) Osaki 8 deadly challenges. And when they put the life of innocent people in danger, the FBI agent finally takes part.
The rest of the film is a downward spiral of destruction and self- destruction. They know they have no way out and they just push the accelerator more and more, to die as lions.
You may not agree with their choices, and it is not aim of the film to make you agree or disagree.
The film just tells the story of this group of people, and it tells it quite well. It is not a Masterpiece but it is entertaining and if you ever felt that living is more about being alive than about surviving, this movie can make you care about the characters and their pursuit of feeling ALIVE. No matter if you agree or not with how they realize it.
I think it's pointless to compare it with the previous version, because they are different and both valid. The first had vip actors but less extreme action, here there may not be super big names but the actors are good, and the actions scenes more spectacular. At the end it may be a matter of preferences.
For me a solid 7. No doubts.