Point Break (1991) was a box office success and remains a classic, its legacy felt today in science show Mythbusters and Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz. The film’s most memorable scene, where protagonist Johnny Utah jumps out of a plane without a parachute in pursuit of antagonist Bodhi, has gone down in action movie history. With this great legacy to live up to, Point Break’s 2015 remake (which enjoys a bigger budget and 24 years-worth of technological advancement and cinematic progress) can only be a success, right?
Point Break (2015) follows extreme sports athlete and FBI agent candidate Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) as he attempts to infiltrate a group of criminals responsible for a string of impressive, morally allowable yet inarguably illegal crimes. Utah reasons that the criminals are a group of talented extreme sports athletes who are trying to complete the Ozaki 8, a series of extreme ordeals designed to honour the forces of nature. Once in the team, Utah must work to earn their trust in order to find evidence that will prove they are responsible for the string of heists. This original proved this to be a premise with potential, so where did the remake go wrong?
Strictly speaking the film does have a plot, but it is one that comes across as less that of an action movie and instead a series of pieces of extreme sports footage. While these clips are very impressive (as extreme sports tend to be) they tend to go on just too long and make the dramatic score seem increasingly silly. There is a grand total of one female character in the entire film (Teresa Palmer), who while given a heart-wrenching backstory to rival even Utah’s tale of woe, her sole function is merely and unavoidably to act as the protagonist’s love interest. In fact, her backstory isn’t even included to enrich her character, but to explain the actions of the antagonist, Bohdi (Édgar Ramírez).
Lack of plot and female characters aside, the aspect of the movie which most frustrates the viewer has to be the protagonist, Johnny Utah himself. While Bracey puts in a decent performance as the FBI agent, massive problems exist in the writing of the character himself: other than causing the premature deaths of a few people who would have died over the course of the film regardless, Johnny Utah has absolutely no effect on the outcome of this story. Had he simply stayed on as an FBI agent candidate and become an agent as normal, everything would have ended exactly as they did with his input.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a thought-provoking film with things like character development, realistic events and characters and a moral, you probably shouldn’t go and see this film. If, however, you just want a film you can watch without thinking too hard, Point Break (2015) is very pretty, doesn’t require much concentration and has lots of cool explosions.
Director: Ericson Core
Cast: Édgar Ramírez, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Delroy Lindo, Ray Winstone
Genre: Action Thriller
Running Time: 113 minutes