Saturday, September 10, 2016
POINT BREAK (2015)
Directed & Cinematography By: Ericson Core
Written By: Kurt Wimmer
Editor: John Duffy, Thom Noble & Gerald B. Greenburg
Cast: Luke Bracey, Edgar Ramirez, Teresa Palmer, Delroy Lindo, Ray Winstone, Matais, Varela, Max Thierot, James LeGros, Laird Hamilton
A young FBI agent infiltrates an extraordinary team of extreme sports athletes he suspects of masterminding a string of unprecedented, sophisticated corporate heists. Deep undercover, and with his life in danger, he strives to prove these athletes are the architects of the mind-boggling crimes that are devastating the world's financial markets.
The original movie is one of my favorite action films of all time. While. It the smartest film it is action packed, well shot, cheesy, spiritual and exciting all at the same time while also being a beefcake film. So I think you should know this before you read my review and probably accuse me of nitpicking.
First of all it is impossible to remake a Patrick Dwayne film successfully. Times have changed and that cheese factor is never quite as ripe. Remaking POINT BREAK to me is blasphemy and after watching this loose retelling I can see at least for myself I was right. As it is even worse then I could have ever imagined.
The film has great visuals, but the film seems like it was directed by a stunt team as most of the film looks like great second unit filming. The camera never stays still and looks like lighting and directing borrowed from Tony Scott's films minus the finesse and talent. Making everyone seem pale and devoid of color except out in the action sequences.
This film just seems dumber as it seeks to focus on all different extreme sports and activities. rather than just one nor even allowing them to just partake in different ones creatively or matter of factly. They just do them perfectly reasoning if they die doing it it was an honorable death. Even as we wonder have they even tried any of these things before. Doesn't matter they are perfect right off the bat.
You almost expect very line spoken to be punctuated with the term EXTREME after instead if just, brah.
The film changes the FBI director from a man who has open contempt for young agent Utah to one who seems to believe in him and coddle him. Though has a cold authority of a parental figure. Played by John McGinely in the original film here Played by Delroy Lindo looks do luckily not as the minority always angry or feeling type police captain so familiar from 80's cop action movies.
Though as the movie presents it case. It seems more like a job for Interpol.
The film has a cameo by two of the actors from the original in a drastically different roles. Playing the director and assistant director of the FBI
The foot chase ends up in a dirty one chase and survival down a mountain and through a forest. With the climactic shooting his gun in the air in pain supposedly that comes off as overweight and over the top .
Ray Winstone looks at home in his role though with his slicked back hair and tropical shirt. Reminds the audience of another cliche that is starting to happen more in the French or European action films usually having something to do with auteur director Luc Besson based on a story or script he wrote and/or produced. Like the transporter series. Usually the French cop who is a friend of the mercenary. Either way, way off from Gary Busey's more loose veteran FBI agent form the original film.
With both these actors and the relationship they have to the lead the film can't help but remind you of the FAST & FURIOUS films. Which also seemed loosely based on the original point break only with a happier ending. At least the first film in the series. Which the original point break was the precursor to as well as grandfathering European action films, But what at least all those other films got right was a compelling. Actor to play the so called villain who the hero is chasing but kind of admires and is mystified by, whose relationship is usually forged by saving each other's loves. Unfortunately Edgar Ramirez is not that charismatic that you would believe everyone including the main character being mystified and following as well as believing in him. It more seems like they do because the script requires it and in maybe some homoerotic way for the two leads but other than that it just seems like a contrivance. Then again Ramirez was a Replacement for original Star Gerard Butler who dropped out over scheduling conflicts
The villains in the film are simultaneously terrorists and extreme protectors of the environment. everything they do is to be "one with nature". As such, the film explores themes of eco-terrorism and radical environmentalism as the driving force underlying the villains' actions.
The other lead is even worse. Luke Bracey playing the role Seeming like a Lame lacking Heath ledger replacement or wanna-be
The first film had two heartthrobs as the leads. Here the actors are all in good shape but not handsome heartthrobs not even actors we have really even heard about as being that good looking. It also seems mandatory that every character and cast member be covered In tattoos that seems like random generalization.
The opening sequence seems like another stunt to put on w useless backstory though know it will come back it isn't used very strongly.
This film has some twists and turns but seems like a film that either seemed better on paper and gets lost due to the actors being miscast and visually not making compelling or coming alive.
If the film had differed and been more made it comedic or had a sense of humor about itself. Or it's way could make the premise it's own. The. It would be worth it. As it is now it seems Like. film that is made up of old Vin Diesel films glued together. It reeks of a film that is here just to turn a profit. There is no passion at all in any of this film.
The film feels a decade too late and more vaguely trying to show all the glorious elements that go with this lifestyle, but we never see them really inhabit it. As the film has the central crew also just accept and take Johnny Utah in way too fast without any real bonding or security checks. At least in the first film he earned his trust and his way in it is a little too simple but somewhat understandable. Here it is way too easy for him to infiltrate. Does it have something to do with the laid back lifestyle. As scars seem to be badges of honor and manliness in this film. The more savage the better especially if well placed on the face.
The love interest angle only seems here to ground him more into the group be not want to bust them. A second emotional investment for Johnny Utah. One would think you have to love in films such as these where the hero comes from a gun fight that involved machine guns and shotguns but our hero manages to survive and conquer with only a pistol.
Leading to a similar but yet still excessive ending they goes further than the original to just feel stupid.
Just like the Vin Diesel movie XXX this seems like a film where the stunt men deserve all the praise as they do all the real work and the actors get all the glory. As we watch the stunts and know the actors are just there for the close up's and dialogue scenes. Though somehow this all comes across as dull maybe this is The film is more interested in the visuals and action sequences above all else rather than the characters it actors which at least spares is from their acting, but the action sequences are more stunt spectaculars and are pretty basic except for the global locations. Though if you watch alot of these extreme sports might not be anything new to see. Which makes sense as Director Ericson Core worked as the director of photography on The FAST & THE FURIOUS, a film very similar to POINT BREAK.
Though it is long the film feels empty and I finished to a degree that feels like it could be a sequel to any euro action film like THE TRANSPORTER. Worse the film doesn’t even look all that expensive. Which might be why the film seems more interested in being global and international. Try and take some tax breaks as well as appeal to the global box office. So in other words the film is constantly broad instead of centered. Maybe this is a Xxx sequel script reworked as you constantly get Deja-vu of that film.
The script seems aimed to be more like a male Bonding experience experiment with a story note then a film. You get as much as one could expect with a PG-13 rating.
The film isn't even enjoyable on a ridiculous level.