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Point Break

Warner Bros. // R // March 29, 2016
List Price: $44.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Ryan Keefer | posted March 30, 2016 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:

In the consistent course of re-appropriating cinematic properties of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, there seems to be little in the way of consideration or justification as to why a remake should happen. Actually, that's not completely true; the Kathryn Bigelow directed, Keanu Reeves-Patrick Swayze co-starred 1991 film Point Break made more than $40 million domestically and doubled that total worldwide, presumably on a modest production budget, so the desire to try and capture lightning in a bottle again, when you're a studio looking at financials, is understandable, even if it isn't fair.

This new version of Point Break was written by Kurt Wimmer (Salt) and directed by Ericson Core Wimmer (Invincible). Reeves' Johnny Utah is no longer an ex-football player, he's an extreme sports athlete played by Luke Bracey (The November Man), and Utah watches his friend die on a mountain BMX jump the pair attempt, before a ‘Seven Years Later' card says Utah's an FBI agent? Utah's done some work researching a group of extreme athletes who are attempting to pull off a series of extreme stunts designed for personal balance and tranquility, while performing robberies of jewels and millions in cash. Utah finds the updated Gary Busey in this film (Ray Winstone, The Gunman) to help him find the leader of the robbers, a quasi-buddhist figure in Bodhi, this time played by Edgar Ramirez (Carlos). You get the rest sort of, Utah befriends Bodhi, finds it hard to capture him, fires his gun into the air and yells, all that stuff.

It was difficult for me to watch Point Break, as it probably would be/is for most people who have seen the original film, without bringing some prejudices into the remake. With that out of the way, let's talk about some of the flaws that exist in this film; the one that looms largest is whatever point that this movie should serve to exist. As far as I can tell, it's basically to show a whole bunch of really cool stunts, which, well, that's why there's YouTube? Is it to show a whole bunch of neck tattoos? Because I watch Nitro Circus and that quota is full.

No, I think this new Point Break exists for the sake of making money (that the film made back its $100 million production budget on international sales alone makes up for the fact that it made less than its predecessor). Because, rather than be a blatant carbon copy, where Utah finds a similar kindred spirit in Bodhi and the viewer gets to explore their shared thoughts of being outsiders in the world, this newer Utah and Bodhi just do a bunch of cool things together, and you're supposed to ooh and ahh and say, ‘Ooh, nice cool things,' rather than have any looks into someone's persona or not.

And that's frustrating, because I like Ramirez' work a lot, but feel like he got thrown into the pool with little to work with and seems to be doing an impression of Swayze's assumption of Bodhi, without the charisma. Bracey brings nothing to the table, and as the Lori Petty character in this new Point Break named Samsara (ugh), Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies) brings even less.

Even in taking the original Point Break out of the discussion, this reimagined Point Break, when given the chance to carve out some sort of identity for itself, fails to do so, and doesn't try in the process. I have seen a lot of trash before, but seldom have I seen something so…unnecessary as this.

The Blu-ray:
The Video:

With an AVC encoded 2.40:1 transfer, Warner makes Point Break look pretty, be it the opening sequence that includes a motorcycle sequence, with chunks of dirt and clouds of dust being kicked up, or the Tahitian monster waves moments later, with blues and greens looking natural and vivid. In the wingsuit sequence, the Swiss mountains also include loads of detail and have a multidimensional look to them and are fabulous. There does appear to be some color timing that may have been part of the theatrical release that is annoying but otherwise, the Blu-ray looks nice.

The Sound:

A DTS-HD MA 7.1 track to go with the transfer and again, does the action sequences well. The idling and revving motorcycles help illustrate how much dynamic range you're about to experience, the crashing waves loop in the thunder of the subwoofer, and the film's dynamic range is broad over the course of the film. Dialogue is without any notable concern, and the soundtrack is super.


You get a standard definition disc and digital code if you want them, but as far as extras go, you have four small featurettes under the menu choice POINT BREAK which discuss the stunts in the film, and the cast and crew's thoughts on them. You have "Rock Climbing" (1:52), "Wingsuit Flying" (2:16), "Snowboarding" (1:58) and "Motorcross" (1:55). Each are quick and forgettable. Four deleted scenes (8:17) include a couple of nice moments that could have been included in the final cut; goodness knows a bunch should have been excised from it. There's a standard definition disc and digital code also.

Final Thoughts:

Everything you may have heard about the Point Break remake was true. And if you didn't hear anything about it, it's probably for the better, as all this movie does is try to convince you pretty people and extreme stunts minus any effort put into the plot is supposed to be exciting somehow. Technically it's a big wave monster but the bonus materials are jokes, to say nothing of the film itself. Don't waste your time on this.

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