FILM REVIEW: Point Break – An Advocate for Extreme Sports… But Not Much Else.
Directed by: Ericson Core
Have you ever wondered, “What if Fast and Furious, Step Up 2, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and The Bourne Identity had some crazy 4 way love child? (if that was even possible), what would that look like!? What would be the end result!”. Of course you haven’t, but if you were ever strange enough to think in such a way, wonder no more! The new remake of classic film ‘Point Break’ achieves that image perfectly and that certainly isn’t a compliment.. It’s diabolical.
The film opens with friends Jonny (Luke Bracey) and Jeff, we find them riding their motocross bikes out in some rocky wilderness, with a helicopter overhead filming them for their apparent ‘sponsors’. Jeff is uneasy, he isn’t too happy about the ride that is set before him, Jonny, our classic stereotypical, baby faced, tattooed twenty something ‘hero’, tries to ease Jeff’s nerves by saying some reassuring line, “come on, it’s fine, just follow my line”. Famous last words… Yes, we can all see where this is going (which is a trend throughout the whole film), but I wouldn’t want to spoil it too much for you…
Jump forward 7 years and our now emotionally damaged stunt rider has had a change of heart and has suddenly decided to join the FBI, we know this thanks to a strategically placed montage of FBI training. Well as luck would have it, a new case involving 3 extreme sport loving, adrenaline junkie vigilantes are now riding motorbikes out of skyscrapers and raining stolen diamonds down on the poor, alongside hi-jacking planes stacked with money which they too send free falling down to more apparent needy folk, this is certainly a strange case. After Jonny has had a motivational heart to heart with his superior on proving himself as an FBI agent, he seemingly becomes ‘just the man’ to go undercover to investigate these band of merry men, to find out who they are and to research more about their motives behind these bizarre actions.
We come to understand that the group of mysterious men, led by actor Edgar Ramirez as Bodhi, (Patrick Swayze played this character in the original), are actually on some kind of “path of enlightenment” to achieving the ultimate 8 ‘ordeals’ in physical extreme activities, set out by ummm, some guy? (We never really learn much about him). This is apparently all an attempt to connect more to the earth, whilst also at the same time giving back to it. (It’s safe to say that the story line was an after thought for this film).
With the help of UK agent ‘Pappas’ (Ray Winstone), who unfortunately is another cliche to this film. (Cue hard edged, tough love geezer, who is a veteran of the job, with an underlying desire to teach new guy the ropes as a strange kind of father figure), they manage to have no trouble tracking down this group in the middle of the ocean, seemingly through complete luck, just purely on a hunch that they may be surfing some big waves…somewhere, as the next phase of this so called ‘path’. Soon enough our lead character soon earns the trust of the group leader and begins to travel alongside his gang, completing some of their daunting extreme tasks. The story develops as a battle within Jonny’s head of where the line of right and wrong stands on what this group are trying to achieve. Unfortunately wooden, stale acting and a whole bunch of cliches is all we get to tell this story, including a moment which any Hot Fuzz fans will find hilarious. Yes, he actually did it!
I would say the only thing this film has going for it, is some of the incredible action sequences. Whether it’s proximity flying through woodland, snowboarding down epic mountains, surfing crazy waves or free climbing up ridiculously tall rock faces, we get treated to some really breath takingly beautiful shots. But even this could have been better. I feel like we were robbed of more real action footage in place for some less than impressive CGI cut together in a similar style to The Fast and Furious, where the rules are that you can only stay on one shot for no longer than a second and this shot has to be so blurry through motion, that you can’t even see whats happening anyway.
I’m certain that the fans of this film will be so, purely through the excitement provided by these action packed extreme sport sequences (and I love stunts just as much as the next man!), but this sadly was no where near enough to say that this film is a complete package. Also for anyone who enjoys the original, avoid it like the plague. I’m giving Point Break 2 out of 5 and if it wasn’t for those glimpses of cinematic beauty it would have been 1.