Point Break is the poster child for everything wrong with the movie industry today. It is a lazy, cynical exercise in extorting hard-earned money from stupid people’s pockets. It features just about every recent trend and milks it for all its worth.
In an attempt to be like the 1991 Reeves/Swayze original, this Point Break follows “Johnny Utah” (Bracey), an FBI agent who gets himself involved with a bunch of athletes/bank robbers – led by the mysterious Bodhi (Ramirez) – to try to figure out where they are going to strike next. Before too long, he gains their trust but also gets in too deep. Can he get himself out and stop the madness before it’s too late?
Director Ericson Core (Invincible) and writer Kurt Wimmer (Salt, 2012’s Total Recall remake) never answer that question nor are they interested in answer that or any question that may be raised. Point Break is that assembly line, international action movie designed to offend nobody and enthrall anyone they can dupe into seeing it in a theatre that every film critic warns you about. According to Wikipedia, this movie cost $120 million to make and with all the cheap special effects they throw at the screen, I’m shocked the final tally was that much. Everything imaginable is computerized from the obviously-not-actually-surfing-on-those-CGI-waves surfers to the poorly rendered rockslide to Teresa Palmer’s enhanced bosom in a laughably ridiculous would-be-romantic swimming scene.
The whole undercover FBI angle is only sparingly mentioned after the first 20 minutes since the director has to fit all these totally awesome stunts into 115 minutes and producers think audiences don’t care about characters or a coherent plot anymore. As long as some stunt is pulled off every 12 minutes, most of which contain no stakes since the main character isn’t in any danger of from the villains at anytime nor do they add anything to the character, the dullards in the audience won’t mind. And as long as the action scenes show no blood and the dull love scene hardly shows skin because PG-13 movies make more money, the studio is satisfied.
A few times, I wondered if the actors playing the team of extreme athletes had traded parts just to shake things up. Each of their characters lacked any distinguishable character traits or motivations that it was entirely plausible they did just that. “Utah” being a former extreme sports athlete eliminated all tension or sense of danger when each stunt is performed. Luke Bracey is nothing more than another pretty boy shoved in our face with the director asking us hundreds of times, “Do you like this actor as a leading man?” He has little chemistry with love interest Palmer, whose Samsara character is unspecified as anything of interest. Bracy and Ramirez make Reeves and Swayze look like master Shakespearian thespians.
Did you notice how I put quotation marks around the main character’s name above? Well, that’s because the character played by Bracey isn’t named Johnny Utah. That’s a nickname he was given at the beginning of his extreme sports career. If that point were played to be some sort of meta-commentary, it might have been funny. But in this movie, it’s an attempt to connect this movie to its 1991 predecessor. In other words, this movie has to use the nostalgia you have for the original in order for you to feel anything since the script is so thin. And that is the most cynical thing: Point Break is a movie that completely depends on elements of another movie instead of any original thought anyone involved in the production has or could ever have to extract any sort of enjoyment out of the audience. And the ineptitude of the movie is placed on full display in the final two scenes where the original’s finale is copied almost word for word while completely omitting any meaningful resolution to “Utah” character.
With the basic plot of the FBI investigation shoved into the background, Point Break features zero genuine thrills, zero necessary tension, no impressive visuals, little coherent dialogue, no original thoughts of their own, and no compelling story to keep the movie afloat. The movie utterly fails at giving the audience any emotion other than derision. And for that reason, I hereby name Point Break the worst movie of 2015.