Eye For Film >> Movies >> Point Break (2015) Film Review
Reviewed by: Luke Shaw
Ericson Core’s remake of Point Break starts very much like any remake should - it throws out the hook in the attempt to snare its audience. The bait: radical dudes on bikes, filmed in laser sharp digital, tearing up snaking dunes on mountain tops. WOW. Dirt is kicked up in lieu of any kind of pathos - somebody makes a leap on a bike that is so precarious you question why; his colleague lands on the earthen comma and fucks it. Pathos restored.
Now, in 2016, the concerns of “global cinema” loom large over productions - larger than ever. If you want to court China, you need to appeal to the Chinese somehow, and Eurasia is home to some of the most starkly contrasting vistas in the world, so how do you hook them? The solution appears to be the “Ozaki 8” - a mythical list of extreme ordeals to be undertaken by only the most bodacious of individuals.
Through a contrivance of an extreme crime that relates back to the original film, a gang of bikers wearing masks of famous US presidents and led by ‘Bhodi’ (Edgar Ramirez) are linked to the Ozaki 8 by Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) the OG biker from the intro who just happens to have carved his way through the ranks of FBI training to become a good honest American.
Perhaps the most impressive feat in Point Break is the layer of cliche upon cliche until it’s so tall that the natural wonders of the film quiver, emasculated by the sour bro-sophy that courses through the veins of its characters. Utah reforms to become an FBI agent. There’s the curt training montage, the my-ass-is-on-the-line section chief, the quaint British contact Pappas (Ray Winstone), the tattoos and surfboard logo life doctrine, the bit where the main character “fired his gun up in the air and gone ‘ahhrgh!”
There’s no denying the sheer spectacle that nature offers, brief respites of epic cinematography that is defined by its subject matter - it’s almost redundant to ask if you can shoot the alps in a way that is unflattering - all widescreen glory, edifying the grandeur of Mother Earth in a way that the film’s awful undercurrent cannot do justice to. Why would anyone care if any of these toxic gaia-bros can surmount the beauty of nature to get closer to some superdense and patronising nucleus of idealism?
And there’s the rub: this remake repackages the gnarly escapism of the early Nineties in way that is meant to appeal to the crowds of mass consumption “hipsters” who totally believe that getting spiritual with the planet is like, totally important, as long as it is documented on social media from top to bottom. It misses the raw joy that Swayze and Reeves espoused.
Because of the obsession with form over content, Ramirez and Bracey never get into the nuances of the romance of respect that forms between these kinds of thrill seeking dudes. The fun has been replaced by contemporary posturing, the carefree by right-on slacktivism, and the nostalgia by a desire to be an action film that revels in shocks and thrills, despite its inherent redundancy. Hell, even the title is given unwanted relevance - it’s the limit a person reaches when they’re being too extreme. In the end, the only law that matters is gravity.Reviewed on: 03 Feb 2016