Point Break review: This leaves us bemoaning the dearth of ideas
Director: Ericson Core
Cast: Luke Bracey, Edgar Ramirez
The release of a couple of underwhelming 3D action adventures provides a sluggish start to the New Year.
First off, there’s this pointless remake of the 1991 film of the same name. Cinematographer-cum-director Ericson Core’s film is a standard-issue Hollywood offering which lacks incisiveness which made the original film a guilty pleasure for audiences back in the day.
Although the story, such as it is, still revolves around an undercover FBI agent (Luke Bracey), the testosterone-sodden update embellishes the big-wave surfing sequences with an array of other extreme sports daredevilry. This time out, the federal agent must infiltrate a group of poly-athlete criminals led by a faux-mystical mastermind (Ramirez). These globe-trotting larcenists steal from super-rich transnational corporations and shower the spoils on the poverty-stricken populace of cities like Mumbai and Mexico. Ha ha!
Matters spiral out of control when our starry-eyed hero gets drawn into the seductive lifestyle of the suspects he’s supposed to apprehend. The pursuit of justice takes a back seat to a series of death-defying exploits involving snowboarding, wing-suit diving, dirt biking and clambering up a vertiginous rock face of a cascading waterfall.
The macho posturing of the characters is at odds with their avowed quest for spiritual enlightenment. Worse, there are gobbledegook pronouncements relating to environmental issues.
The portentous wall-to-wall music score is a further deterrent. On the other hand, there’s no denying that the how-did-they-do-those stunt sequences (reportedly performed in-camera by a host of extreme sports professionals) are astonishing.
In the lead roles, Venezuela-born actor Edgar Ramirez, who was so impressive in both Carlos: The Jackal and the two-part Che biopic, and his Australian counterpart Luke Bracey are nondescript. As the latter’s love interest, Teresa Palmer is inept.
Another addition to the endless list of remakes, Point Break merely leaves us bemoaning the dearth of original ideas in Hollywood nowadays.