2015 / Director. Ericson Core.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
So many people had made their minds up to hate the POINT BREAK remake long before they would ever see it. Of course it was this unsettling trend amongst movie-goers, to encourage disappointment, that had me eager to see it for myself. I dig the original film. It's a cool snap-shot from the nineties and it holds up relatively well. So is a remake necessary? Heck no (when are remakes ever necessary?)... but on the other hand I was never precious about the movie either and so the thought of a remake didn't bother me.
Sadly there is little I can relay to you in its favour. I gave it an open mind, which is more than I can say for others, but the truth is that its a fundamentally flawed and overly ambitious act of desperation that falls well short of its mark. – Mild Spoiler Alert - Right from the cheesy opening scene that goes for that whole “CLIFFHANGER” tragedy moment I was instilled with an ominous feeling and suspected that the overzealous naysayers had it right.
To the film's credit it is not a direct remake. In fact the narrative is removed far enough from the 1991 original that it would have played much better as a stand-alone movie without the unavoidable expectations of its title. Johnny Utah's back story has been changed from an inexperienced surfer to a seasoned extreme-sport professional and Bodhi is now an eco-warrior chasing a mythologised series of extreme challenges that promote a message of conservation. Utah, as in the original, must infiltrate Bodhi's circle to bring them down and in doing so he is faced with a series of blurred ethical lines.
The new back-stories to the characters are the first of many mistakes. The whole eco-warrior aspect is stupid and feels like a desperate attempt to make the movie relevant to current social standards, whereas Utah's professional extreme-sport background removes the characters's struggles to connect and infiltrate the group. The script is awful, with truly cringe-worthy dialogue and the overall structure of the narrative is about as simplistic as it gets. There's actually very little to the storyline at all and the entire film feels more like an extreme-sport highlights package.
The stunts are mostly impressive but without a tangible narrative to give them weight they all seem excessive and much too far-fetched. Not to mention the augmentation of the actual stunt footage with the characters interactions is sloppy. There's a lot of lazy green-screen work at play and the continuity blunders are the stuff of legendary drinking games. Where the action in the original film was plausible within the realms of its story, the action in this remake is entirely dumb and unlikely. From an overindulgent avalanche scene to a ridiculous monster-surf sequence, it's a hodgepodge of style over substance (where the style isn't even stylish).
The performances add insult to injury with the only person worthy of praise being Edgar Ramirez as Bodhi. I actually think he's better than Patrick Swayze was in the original, however he's up against a blockade of mediocrity where no amount of excellent on his part can salvage a damn thing.
POINT BREAK is the remake that everyone wanted to hate from the outset.... and damnit, they were right (and I hate this movie for that).