Point Break: action with a side of story
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When it comes to movies, almost everyone loves some action. Whether it be fast paced chase scenes, bloody fist fights, or huge explosions, anything that gets the heart beating faster suffices. Directors thrive on this weakness and produce movies filled with more action than an average video game.
But can you really create a movie based on action alone? Point Break (2015) tried to do exactly that, but the result was less than anticipated.
Point Break is a remake of the 1991 movie of the same name, though with so many changes to it that it is difficult to even call it that. Both movies follow main character Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) as he tries to stop a group of criminals, but that’s as far as it goes.
The new remake seems to have been based off the assumption that the original was successful because of the actions scenes and capitalized on that. The result was an extreme X-Games competition with story in the background.
The first of the four main action scenes showed Utah and another surfer attempting to surf on a massive wave in France. Utah ends up falling off his board and nearly drowning, but gets saved by the other surfer who is introduced as Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez).
Utah becomes friends with Bodhi and is later accepted into his “group”. It is then revealed that Bodhi and his “group” are the criminals that have been committing crimes recently.
Even with the near death of Utah, this scene wasn’t all that thrilling. Also, the early reveal that Bodhi and his group are the criminals ruins the suspense completely.
Next comes the flying scene where Utah and Bodhi’s group glide from the top of the Alps using flying suits. This was a step up from the previous surfing scene which had some awesome first person views. However, overall, it still lacked some major suspense and lasted for too long.
Utah’s specialties are dirt biking and winter sports which gave him a huge advantage in the snowboarding scene that came next. This scene was far more suspenseful and I found that the first person views suited this more than the previous flying scene.
This also was a turning point for Utah because he lead the group down the mountain with his path and began to crave the adrenaline rush like he did once before.
After the previous snowboard scene, my hope for the movie started to go up. But all that hope went down the drain with the last action scene.
Utah figured out that Bodhi was going to Angel Falls in Venezuela, and followed him to try to tell him to stop. Bodhi saw him and started to climb up the rock wall beside the waterfall. Utah then chased after him in what was a slow, awkward and slightly humorous FBI chase.
The suspense was almost non existent as the two of them climbed up the wall with one wrong move meaning their death. It killed the suspense that was reestablished by the snowboarding scene and just gave the movie the final blow.
What little story Point Break did have was a mere shattered mirror reflection of the original. Bodhi and his gang were portrayed as misunderstood adrenaline junkies rather than criminals. This resulted in the conflict between the FBI and Bodhi’s group being superficial and essentially pointless.
Also, the relationship between Utah and Samsara (Teresa Palmer) was an utter failure. Utah’s love at first sight for her had hardly any emotion and felt like Utah only liked her for her exterior looks. The overall connection between them was weak and resembled that of a high school one-week romance, even as it progressed throughout the movie.
When Utah accidentally shoots her thinking she was Bodhi, in a chase that stemmed from Bodhi’s group robbing a bank, there was no feeling of killing a loved one but rather killing a criminal. This was utterly disappointing as that was the only love relationship in the entire movie and it was no more than a factor that added to the rating of PG-13.
Overall, Point Break (2015) tried to hard to incorporate too much action that was tasteless anyways and left the story behind, leaving the audience wanting their tickets refunded.