So, my mom and I were late for the screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and ended up seeing this remake of the Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze starrer back in 1991. I must say that like the extreme sports that the filmmakers shot for this movie, it had its ups and downs.
Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey, Monte Carlo, GI Joe) a former extreme sports athlete turned FBI agent, is working on a case of an extreme group of adventurers committing a series of crimes across the globe, which he believes is an attempt to complete the Ozaki 8, a set of extreme challenges that will lead the path to Nirvana. When he goes undercover, he meets the leader of the group Bodhi (Edgard Ramirez, Wrath of Titans, Joy) and learns the reason behind his group’s attempt to accomplish the impossible.
First off, I want t give credit to the filmmakers for the awesome cinematography, as well as the stunts team for the marvelous execution and filming of the extreme stunts in this movie. I could not help but repeatedly exclaim in awe over each perfect stunt and it was a rush, just to see it. It was awesome. It set out to up the ante from the original and succeeded without a doubt.
With that out of the way, I must say that the updated version of Point Break had a lot going for it but made one major mistake on the casting — I say major because I just wasn’t convinced that Luke Bracey was the best guy to become the lead actor in this movie. While he looked the part of an extreme athlete, there was a certain disconnect with the character. Audiences won’t feel compelled to root for him or his cause, mainly because his acting wasn’t up to par. It felt cheesy and wooden for the most part and this, I think became the film’s Achilles’ Heel.
I get that the film was trying to emulate The Fast and The Furious formula but while Paul Walker and Luke Bracey had the same blond surfer boy good looks, Bracey lacked the charisma and charm that the late Paul Walker had. Edgar Ramirez, as Bodhi, who was supposed to be portrayed as the film’s antagonist, actually stole the show. With his squad Samsara (Teresa Palmer), Grommet (Matias Varela), Roach (Clemens Schick) and Chowder (Tobias Santelmann) behind him, they were able to convey a brotherhood bonded by a common goal (much like Vin Diesel and his crew) and this made for the most compelling and dramatic scenes in the movie. I loved Bodhi. What the character of Utah lacked, he delivered in spades. Bodhi was a character that audiences would respect and relate with and for this, I was Team Bodhi all the way. Even when it came down to the showdown, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted Bodhi to survive — I couldn’t care less about Utah and for a film that is so greatly hinged on the main character, this was not a minor problem, even looking at the overall picture.
All in all, Point Break nailed the action thriller part down to a science but its one major mistake cost the film dearly in becoming one memorable epic adventure to just a watered down version of The Fast and The Furious. This was a major disappointment because it could have been so much more. I’m sure of it.