Time to tuck in to my first cinematic movie review for 2016, and with it being the time of the year where Hollywood opens up the sewerage gates upon theatres, it can be very often that you’ll get served a real stinker. So, does the remake of “Point Break” fall into that unfortunate category?
The story has a retired Extreme Sportsman (Luke Bracey) join the FBI and quickly get on the team who is investigating a series of elaborate heists, which appear to be being pulled off by people with a similar background to Bracey’s character. He attempts to join this team, gain their trust, and obtain evidence which can land them behind bars. But along the way he becomes immersed in the goal of the Osaki 8 – eight extreme challenges which if complete, can help achieve nirvana.
The cast is pretty unknown to me, with the exception of a role by Ray Winstone. Which is strange to see in a movie that clearly had a lot of money and time invested into the scenic visuals for the extreme sports and challenges. They are the one element of this film which will impress you, with many locations from around the World being showcased. At times it feels like you are watching a documentary when they are captured to such a pleasing result. If you are the kind who is prone to suffering Vertigo, these scenes will make you very uncomfortable at times, that’s for sure.
As for the rest of the movie, it has minor elements of a procedural drama, action sequences, and a heavy emphasis on the aspect of the FBI agent infiltrating the group. Being based off of an already existing movie, it is (from what my friend told me) very loosely based on this, and a small few pieces of old material being stapled in to remind you of what it is.
Well, now that we have all that out of the way, I think it is prudent that I mention my friend’s quote which he had for the film, “That was shite”. And indeed it was. You are presented with a muddled mess of ideas which get scrambled about to the point where the focus gets completely lost for the entire second act. The ultimate goal is to arrest the criminals who are causing the round-the-World incidents, but instead we see the agent Johnny Utah just hanging out with the gang and taking part in the challenges. It suddenly becomes about him and overcoming the trauma of his past, and it is an insane shift in tone. The whole investigation gets swept unceremoniously to the background where it can sit for vast amounts of time unattended to.
The general mish-mash of story elements makes what should be a simple plot get awfully convoluted. There are parties, a wholly-unecessary romance arc, side characters with no background or depth to speak of AT ALL, and then oh my God there’s the script. I know these are actors who are new to the big release scene, but they are displayed like they can’t read a line for their lives. The delivery is monotone and stoic to the point of boredom, and you would find more advanced facial expressions from a Terminator. Now, most of this isn’t down to the actors, I’m sure they’re fine and capable. But the script and direction kills any chance of them delivering a note-worthy performance.
And then the progression of the story via the screenplay feels like it was riddled with bullets, there are huge gaps of information that are non-existent or illustrated poorly. As some examples, the scene with all the boats out by the tidal wave can shift position by nearly thirty feet between cuts. A character who dies during the movie gets a funeral pyre, and literally the next shot is a gigantic rave party going on WHILE HE’S STILL BURNING. Sure, a bad-ass idea for a funeral, but it looks completely ridiculous on the big screen. And the grand finale has a change of mind by the main character which goes against everything he has been chasing for the entire movie, and so almost nullifies everything that he was seeking to achieve.
This remake of “Point Break” either got seriously lost in the woods during the production, or was doomed from the get go, because I cannot believe it got major funding. The writing is strewn with gaps and unexplained jumps, the dialogue is stilted, the ending is massively disappointing, and none of the actors puts in even an average performance. Only the scenic visuals are of note and might impress you, but Planet Earth has great visuals too. So why watch this just for that one component? The stunts are exciting at times as well, especially on Angel Falls, but is simple is not enough to hold the entire movie.
At least it’s short, I can say that. But even though I gave this the best chance to win me over, it kept stumbling over time and time again. As a free rental, you might enjoy the cinematography before dozing off on the couch. Otherwise, this is one to avoid. Shite? Pretty much.
Thanks for reading!