January 5, 2016

Movie Review: Point Break (2015)

Way back in 1991 an action film hit theaters that saw some success, featuring Keanu Reeves starring as an FBI agent who goes undercover with a group of bank robbing surfers who wore masks of presidents, led by Patrick Swayze. I recall liking it, but have not seen it enough to really have any attachment to it, so when it was announced that a remake was being made, I cannot say I had a strong reaction either way. Then the trailer came out and I knew it was going to be a disaster. Then I saw it and it was definitely a disaster. Seriously, this movie is just bad, not because it is a remake, but because it is, well, bad. Point Break is here.

The movie was directed by Ericson Core, who previously directed the football film Invincible, while spending most of his career as a Director of Photography on films such as The Fast and The Furious, Daredevil, and Payback. Writing duties fell to Rick King and W. Peter Iliff, who also wrote the original. They teamed with Kurt Wimmer on the story before Wimmer wrote the screenplay. Now, I have been a fan of Wimmer’s, but his career has been qute spotty. He was behind the excellent Equilibrium, the poorly received Ultraviolet (which I liked), plus Law Abiding Citizen and Sphere. Then again, he was also behind the Total Recall remake, which was a disaster. This remake is another disaster, a stunt and effects real devoid of plot, character, and purpose.

This Point Break has been reimagined as some new agey action adventure with Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez) leading a group trying to complete the Osaki 8, a group of 8 Earth-challenging trials defined by an eco-warrior named, you got it, Osaki. Of course, along with doing the trials, they must give back, which usually comes in the form of some manner of robbery. Our hero, Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey), an extreme sports star who leaves the sport world and joins the FBI. He sees the connection (tenuous at best) and puts himself undercover to try and infiltrate the group.

As the story plays out, he gets deeper in, sometimes feeling a kinship with them, but when they pull off one of their bad guy acts of violence, he returns to his FBI ways. This may sound like a spoiler, but if you don’t see it coming, I don’t know what to say. This movie does nothing to try and disguise any of its twists in turns. Frankly, it doesn’t really do much of anything. You almost have to watch it like you would play a video game, the characters are blank slates, you must impart on them some personality to become involved at all.

The whole thing is really an exercise in frustration. It is flat, I never really cared about anyone, no one truly develops any sort of rapport, and it really becomes a bit of a slot. They seem to forget about the criminal aspect early on and virtually every character talks like a dime store philosopher.

Of course, the crazy dialogue could be seen as a plus for the movie, it sounds so silly, you may be entertained by it. The movie almost becomes a stunt reel and on that level it is actually rather pretty. It is a little funny that watching it, I was reminded of another movie I saw recently, Stunt Rock. I was not exactly a fan of it, but could see the charm and crazy entertainment value in it. That movie was a plotless entity that interspersed scenes of a heavy metal concert and those of stunts being performed. That is what this feels like, with Point Break being prettier and Stunt Rock being more authentic.

Point Break is not a good movie, not at all. On a certain level, it is entertaining in its awfulness (mainly the crap philosophical tones many characters take), but then there is the fact the movie has no point, no plot, no purpose, no character, and no ending. It exists to make money, and poorly at that. This is a movie not to be bother with, and my rating is generous based on the super cheesy dialogue and some pretty scenery and decent stunts. This is not a movie, it is a reel to be used in the hope of getting work on a real movie.

Not Recommended.

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