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Review: Point Break

Point Break
12.25.2015
3 10

PLOT: FBI Agent Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) goes undercover amongst a group of extreme athletes- led by the enigmatic Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez) – suspected in a series of incredible international heists.

REVIEW: Of all the movies Hollywood’s chosen to remake, POINT BREAK has to be the most confusing example of all. Not only has the original film – only a modest hit in its initial release – gone on to become a huge cult favorite but two of the people involved (Kathryn Bigelow and Keanu Reeves) are even more famous now than they were then. And then there’s the late Patrick Swayze, who was so iconic as the bank-robbing antihero Bodhi in the original that anyone trying to step into his shoes ought to think twice (as did the initially cast Gerard Butler).

Really, the only way POINT BREAK could have worked is if this had been done as a sequel, which could have been interesting with Reeves’ disillusioned Utah now a criminal in the Bodhi-mold. Instead, this is a beat-for-beat remake of the original with the only innovation being that instead of setting it in California’s surfer community the stage has been expanded worldwide with surfing only a minor part of these extreme athletes’ talents.

To be fair to director Ericson Core, some of the stunt footage is excellent. The motorcycle, rock climbing and base jumping footage is well shot minus some obvious CGI manipulation to make it look like the stars are involved with the crazy stunts. However, it’s painfully obvious that Kurt Wimmer’s script has simple been written-around whatever sport they were able to get photography of. The premise here is that Bodhi and his gang are trying to achieve something called the Osaki Eight, which are eight ordeals that are supposed to bring them enlightenment, with their environmentally-concerned heists being a way of paying back the earth for what they take from it. Basically, it’s another quest-style narrative with each subsequent ordeal/mission feeling like another level in a video game, making this horribly by-the-numbers.

Even still, POINT BREAK could have been OK. Core himself was the DP on THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, which liberally borrowed so much of POINT BREAK’s plot that it could have been called a quasi-remake, and that movie was fine. While Core’s style in pretty blah, with the green-hued visuals being a tad dull (even in 3D), the major problem here is with the actors. Edgar Ramirez can be incredibly effective given the right material, as in Olivier Assayas’ CARLOS or in David O. Russell’s current JOY. Given the thinly written Bodhi, Ramirez doesn’t have the personality to make us forget Swayze’s iconic, likable rogue from the original. Here he feels like a straight-up bad guy as opposed to the conflicted, loyal-but-homicidal figure from the first.

As such, there’s no feeling of loyalty or camaraderie between him and Utah, whose casting is absolutely disastrous with Luke Bracey emerging as one of the dullest screen heroes in recent memory. Bracey is a well-sculpted Aussie heartthrob in the Hemsworth mold, but he has no personality. Anyone who gives Jai Courtney a hard time will think twice after seeing Bracey in this – although how much of this is actually Bracey’s fault is debatable. The idea that Utah was a YouTube star for his extreme stunts and is now training to be an undercover FBI agent is ludicrous. We’re supposed to believe that after a stunt gone awry this guy who never finished high school went on to breeze through law school and FBI training in five years, but Utah never feels intelligent enough to make that believable.

The supporting cast doesn’t fare any better, with Ray Winstone doing a pale imitation of Gary Busey as Pappas (out of the London office). Teresa Palmer is gorgeous but lacks the spunk Lori Petty had in the original (who was a very three-dimensional love interest for her time), and the seduction scene, where they swim underwater in a perfectly lit sea (despite it being the middle of the night) is unintentionally funny.

While I’ll admit that the original POINT BREAK has a special place in my heart due to my having grown up watching it over-and-over (I’ve owned it on VHS,DVD and Blu-ray) I could have liked this remake had it ever seemed like something more than a dull cash-grab. Other than some interesting stunt footage, there’s never any sense of innovation or purpose, and the lead performances are embarrassingly short on charisma. Do yourself a favor – skip the remake and just re-watch the original. You might as well call this one “Point Fake.”

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Source: JoBlo.com

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9:09PM on 12/26/2015
Was it as good as the original? Not even close. Was it unwatchable? Not at all. As a huge fan of the original, I found this remake to simply okay. It wasn't a piece of shit like a lot of other stuff out right now. 6/10.
Was it as good as the original? Not even close. Was it unwatchable? Not at all. As a huge fan of the original, I found this remake to simply okay. It wasn't a piece of shit like a lot of other stuff out right now. 6/10.
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11:42PM on 12/28/2015
I agree, it was okay. A lot of people have judged this without having seen it.
I agree, it was okay. A lot of people have judged this without having seen it.
11:41AM on 12/26/2015
C'mon, I don't know anyone giving this flick a chance.
C'mon, I don't know anyone giving this flick a chance.
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1:27PM on 12/26/2015
Comments like this makes me realize who these remakes are made for
Comments like this makes me realize who these remakes are made for
10:44AM on 12/27/2015
Because anyone in they're right mind wouldn't give this flick a chance... Did you give fantastic four a chance? Or elm street? Or Friday the 13th? Probably not. Fuck this movie and the people who made it. The roadhouse remake with Rhonda Rousey is the next unnecessary remake that will fail miserably. Just leave the cult hits alone please. I understand wanting to remake horror films. Not all are good, but there are few that fall through the cracks and are actually good. These ppl should be
Because anyone in they're right mind wouldn't give this flick a chance... Did you give fantastic four a chance? Or elm street? Or Friday the 13th? Probably not. Fuck this movie and the people who made it. The roadhouse remake with Rhonda Rousey is the next unnecessary remake that will fail miserably. Just leave the cult hits alone please. I understand wanting to remake horror films. Not all are good, but there are few that fall through the cracks and are actually good. These ppl should be ashamed of this. 3/10 is being nice... 1/10
8:18AM on 12/26/2015

Merry Christmas

Thank you Hollywood for continuously supporting shitty remakes
Thank you Hollywood for continuously supporting shitty remakes
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4:38PM on 12/25/2015
I'm greening this cause this movie sucking is what I wanted for Christmas. Bodhi can stop rolling in his grave and rest peacefully...
I'm greening this cause this movie sucking is what I wanted for Christmas. Bodhi can stop rolling in his grave and rest peacefully...
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+2
1:26PM on 12/25/2015
Fuck this movie! Another shitty ass remake.
Fuck this movie! Another shitty ass remake.
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6:03AM on 12/25/2015
Well, I think the majority of us called it.
Well, I think the majority of us called it.
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5:14AM on 12/25/2015
It's as if this new Point Break is a textbook example of how NOT to make a remake.
It's as if this new Point Break is a textbook example of how NOT to make a remake.
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+1
4:50AM on 12/25/2015

Indeed why not a sequel?!!

Keanu reeves is still in the game, John wick proved that(although i didnt think that movie was as great as everyone says, i always have a soft spot for reeves and like for him to be succesful)
They could have easily made a good sequel involving his character. Swayze was great in pointbreak, to me his best role and its to bad he didnt get to make more movies like that. On the other hand it's better for the legendary status of his character Bodhi that he never returned because not knowing what
Keanu reeves is still in the game, John wick proved that(although i didnt think that movie was as great as everyone says, i always have a soft spot for reeves and like for him to be succesful)
They could have easily made a good sequel involving his character. Swayze was great in pointbreak, to me his best role and its to bad he didnt get to make more movies like that. On the other hand it's better for the legendary status of his character Bodhi that he never returned because not knowing what happened is so much cooler then him turning up alive in a sequel.

Maybe the guys from John wick can make a real sequel to pointbreak with Reeves, john goodman(in some sort of papas role)and some batshit crazy actor with a lot of charisma, you have to have some colourful actors to make these kind of movies work, gary busey and swayze were perfect examples
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7:45PM on 12/25/2015
I don't think Keanu wants to revisit it. He was pretty clear in his disinterest in the remake, and with Swayze gone, I can't see him coming back to it. But what you said about colorful actors, absolutely. Reeves, Swayze, Busey and Petty weren't the best actors working in the early '90s, but damn if they weren't right to inject that movie with palpable personality in a way most action movies wish they could.
I don't think Keanu wants to revisit it. He was pretty clear in his disinterest in the remake, and with Swayze gone, I can't see him coming back to it. But what you said about colorful actors, absolutely. Reeves, Swayze, Busey and Petty weren't the best actors working in the early '90s, but damn if they weren't right to inject that movie with palpable personality in a way most action movies wish they could.
10:45AM on 12/27/2015
But Keanu will make garbage like Knock,Knock... John wick was awesome.. But c'mon! This could've been decent.
But Keanu will make garbage like Knock,Knock... John wick was awesome.. But c'mon! This could've been decent.
1:43AM on 12/25/2015
I was afraid of this. Maybe I'll watch it on dvd.
I was afraid of this. Maybe I'll watch it on dvd.
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10:46AM on 12/27/2015
How bout not at all! Lol
How bout not at all! Lol
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