Review: Point Break (2015)
Point Break, the original, is one of our favorite classic action movies here at Everything Action, with it’s one of a kind triumvirate of Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey and Patrick Swayze, cheesy but fun zen bullshit and memorable action sequences that, in some cases, have never been topped. The new remake has none of those qualities and is aggressively stupid in all the worst ways.
Point Break 2015 does what a lot of terrible remakes does and takes the simple but effective story of the original and makes it overly complicated in attempt to make it more palatable to the “modern audience”. Instead of a group of surfers who fund their exploits by robbing banks, the new Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez) and his crew are attempting the “Ozaki 8”, a series of extreme sports challenges that are part of a ridiculous philosophy that somehow includes environmentalism and achieving nirvana. The “heists” part of their plan is to “give back to the Earth” which they must do after taking from the Earth during their stunts. The new Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) is a former motocross rider who quit after a tragic accident and became an FBI agent. He recognizes the pattern of the heists and infiltrates the group to get enough evidence to tie them to the crimes and stop them. The plot is an afterthought and exists only to get everyone to the next big extreme sports stunt sequence and the plot actually feels like it stops halfway through for two big sequences that exists only to be big stunts. The whole Ozaki 8 setup is painfully artificial and the stunts, while visually fantastic in both what’s happening and the environment they are occuring in, lack the visceralness of the original. When Keanu Reeves jumps out of a plane with no parachute, it’s because he has to catch Bodhi, no matter the cost, not because he’s undertaking some pseudo-hippie list of stunts. When the new Point Break does directly reference the original, it’s hollow and out of place. The iconic “gun shooting into the air” scene that is the over the top dramatic apex of the original is so half assed and out of context in the remake that it’s infuriating.
Everything in the new Point Break is also just so grim and unfun that it doesn’t even reach “so bad it’s good” levels, even when there are scenes like Johnny giving a briefing to the higher ups at the FBI and using ridiculous phrases like “poly-athlete” while highlights from youtube of his motocross exploits plays in the background. There’s no equivalent of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ridiculously aggressive beach bums or even one of the most iconic images from the original, the rubber president masks used during the bank heists. All the characters are just bland and lack any sort of chemistry or even a basic sense of their relationship as well. There’s basically no build up to the relationship between Utah and Pappas, played by a surly as ever Ray Winstone, Utah and Samsara (the equivalent of Tyler from the original), who’s a generic hippie who seems like she would reek of patchouli and drops generic hippie platitudes about “the earth, man”. The only person who gets even in the same ballpark as their original counterpart is Edgar Ramirez as Bodhi but his zen bullshit is taken to such an insane level in the remake that it’s insufferable. Bodhi does not have a single line of dialogue that isn’t some sort of philosophy like “you need to make your own line” or “the only law is gravity” and he just comes off like a delusional bro unlike Swayze, who you 100% believe he believes whatever he’s saying about the rhythm of the ocean or achieving your zen.
There’s basically no reason for this new Point Break to exist, except maybe for it’s endless string of stunt sequences but, even then, you would probably get more out of one of the many IMAX documentaries that follows extreme sports athletes. The original is superior in every way, both in the genuinely incredible action sequences and the ridiculously fun bromance between Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze with Gary Busey thrown in for good measure. If you’ve never seen the original, do yourself a favor and watch that and just ignore this remake.
I’m like the J. Jonah Jameson of Everything Action, writing and editing and constantly demanding pictures of Spider-Man.