Bad Movie Tuesday: Point Break and the Extremely Boring Remake
Ericcson Core the director of the Point Break remake made a big time mistake when choosing the direction of the film. He confines the action to a bunch of GoPro scenes that put helmets on the actors and suck all the life out of the proceedings. Thus, we are watching people we barely know, do things we don’t care about. Very few of the extreme stunts further the plot and they look like the videos you see at a GoPro booth. The original Point Break was about the characters and embraced machismo and smart stupidity. This new remake is all about the stunts and the characters are barely allowed to crack a smile. Thus, the “extreme” action becomes boring and nobody high fives whilst skydiving.
What made the original Point Break such an action classic was the human element. Director Kathryn Bigelow realized action doesn’t matter if you don’t like the people doing the insane stunts. Whether they were playing football or jumping out of planes the danger seemed real and the actors looked legitimately pumped. Patrick Swayze’s character Bodhi was a force of nature who spouted Zen rhetoric and robbed banks. He was a walking contradiction that 100% believed in himself. I love the original film. and I believe it is one of the best action films of the 1990s because it balanced absurdity with memorable characters.
This Point Break remake sets up our main character as a brash poly-athlete whose poor decisions hurt others around him. So, our “hero” is a massive turd who takes others down with him. Seven years later, he is in the FBI and he gets assigned to hunting down some extreme thieves who love doing insane stunts. Eventually, he bonds with the thieves over surfing, fighting, skiing and more extreme sports. Then, he meets the readily available Samsara (Teresa Palmer) and the two start a budding relationship that goes nowhere.
There are some truly beautiful vistas but none of them matter because the humans are blank slates. I am a big fan of Edgar Ramirez (Che, Zero Dark Thirty) but his Bodhi character is basically all hair and lame one-liners. Core should’ve let the dude speak, because he is a solid actor that could pull off the art of Zen and motorcycle maintenance. I don’t remember a single line of Bodhi dialogue, and that is a problem when the character is supposed to be iconic.
If Core would’ve added some more character moments the movie would’ve been a perfectly fine HBO movie. The characters don’t matter and when somebody dies you could care less. I didn’t even know the names of the majority of the side characters. The only time I got excited is when when surfing legend Laird Hamilton popped up during a surfing scene. I am a big fan of Laird, and become invested in the moment because the dude is awesome and his appearance in the surfing documentary Riding Giants was epic. However, he soon left and I was stuck with some people I didn’t care about. The surfing was cool though.
Point Break is a cacophony of lame dialogue, terrible tattoos and fantastic vistas. It has zero personality and that is a shame because I like most of the people involved. Hopefully, this forces studios to think twice before revamping beloved properties and recreating iconic characters.