By Nico Beland
Movie Review: F (1 star)
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
In the tradition of pointless remakes that Hollywood keeps crapping out from The Haunting and Clash of the Titans to Arthur and Total Recall, you’d think they couldn’t get any more desperate with their remakes. Well, you’d be wrong, they decided to “Re-Imagine” one of the early films directed by Kathryn Bigelow who would later go on to receive critical and commercial success with The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, her 1991 action thriller that originally starred Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, and Gary Busey, Point Break which, while it was a hit when it first came out in theaters, the reviews were mixed and it’s a movie that a lot of people forget about, so we have a remake of an early 90s movie that isn’t a timeless classic, now Clash of the Titans and Total Recall, I can understand remaking those because they’re very iconic movies that a lot of people remember, this isn’t.
I don’t mean the original Point Break is a bad movie, it’s a good movie, but I don’t think the film screams “Remake this Classic For A New Generation!” If anything I’m surprised Hollywood hasn’t done a remake of James Cameron’s Titanic yet (But in a way, we did get two remakes outside of Hollywood…I’ll just leave it at that!). But I was curious to see how the finished product turned out, and I was very surprised.
Oh, not that it’s a good movie, on the contrary, it’s a spectacular failure of both a remake and a standalone film. The plot and character development take a far back seat on that plane the athletes were riding in, and decide just to show off some radical and tubular stunts with wooden characters and character development almost being non-existent.
Whenever I review I remake or any re-imagining for that matter, I do my best not to focus entirely on comparing it to the original film it was based on, I usually try to balance both original comparisons and how it holds up on its own. This is one of those times where looking at the remake on its own accomplished nothing aside from a few neat stunts, the characters were developed so badly I didn’t care who was going to live and who was going to die in the end, in fact after the movie ended I forgot the characters instantly and that’s not a good sign, even movies like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen or Fantastic Four (2015) I at least remembered the characters, I didn’t even bother getting attached to these characters because the main character’s back story is extremely rushed and edited horribly and none of the characters really express how they’re feeling, they’re not characters, they’re half-ass plot devices to get the movie going, and perhaps after I describe the plot you might see where I’m coming from.
The film stars Luke Bracey (Monte Carlo, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The November Man) as former extreme motocross star and surfer turned extreme athlete, Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves’ character from the original movie) who becomes an FBI agent shortly after the death of his best friend (Without developing him or showing a funeral, literally he dies in the first ten minutes of the movie and it’s completely brushed over, almost like a Disney movie!). He learns about a skyscraper heist where these mysterious bank robbing extreme-sports criminal athletes led by surfer, Bodhi (Édgar Ramírez-The Bourne Ultimatum, Carlos, Zero Dark Thirty) parachute down their escape and another heist where they skydive out of a plane and unload dollar bills in mid-air over Mexico and suddenly disappear.
Utah agrees to go undercover as a criminal athlete to collect information on the criminals to eventually bring them to justice. And then the film transitions to extremely repetitive stunts without developing the rest of the characters.
Overall, the original Point Break, while it’s not the greatest crime thriller of all time, it was at least a well put together movie and the characters were developed well, and it starred well-known actors. This however makes the original look like The Hurt Locker, I don’t think Keanu Reeves is technically a good actor, but he had some decent parts in Bill and Ted, Speed, and The Matrix, however the characters in the remake made me pray for his hokey acting, because at least that’s SOMETHING, I pretty much got nothing out of these new characters, I didn’t care who they were, were they going to die, and if they accomplish their heist, because the writers clearly didn’t care about developing them and instead decided to watch some sports on TV, it’s basically a stunt show with a film budget.
Hopefully Kathryn Bigelow will learn from this and not allow any more remakes of her films ESPECIALLY Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. If you just want to see some extreme stunts, you might like it fine, but if you want a smart story, decent characters, and an overall well put together movie, rent the original.