Kyle J. Steenblik

Point Break Lost its Story in an Extreme Sports Highlight Reel

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point-break-2015-movie-posterPoint Break
Directed by: Ericson Core
Screenplay by: Kurt Wimmer
Based on Point Break by Rick King, W. Peter Iliff
Starring: Édgar Ramírez, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Delroy Lindo, Ray Winstone
Running time 113 minutes
Rated PG-13 for violence, thematic material involving perilous activity, some sexuality, language and drug material

2 stars out of 5A young FBI agent infiltrates an extraordinary team of extreme sports athletes he suspects of masterminding a string of unprecedented, sophisticated corporate heists. Deep undercover, and with his life in danger, he strives to prove these athletes are the architects of the mind-boggling crimes that are devastating the world’s financial markets. Filmed on four continents, North America, Europe, South America and Asia, “Point Break” presents extraordinary feats performed by the world’s top extreme sports athletes, and involves some of the most daring exploits ever committed to film. Extreme sports featured include snowboarding, wingsuit flying, free rock climbing, high-speed motocross, and surfing 70-foot waves. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

When it comes to remakes, it is best to avoid comparing the new film to the old film, a remake should stand on its own with no help from the original, and any callbacks to the original should be seamless. The remake of Point Break is not seamless, the callbacks are obvious and out of place, it does not stand on its own because they forgot to build a stable foundation for the story. In fact it almost felt like they relied on the audience being familiar with the original film to fill in the gaps in the story themselves, but the two plots didn’t match up well enough for this to work. On its own, the Point Break remake has far too many gaping holes in the plot to be enjoyable for anything other than some spectacular extreme sport highlights.
The narrative deficiencies in this film are too numerous to cover in a single review, so I will only cover a few. First, the character of Johnny Utah is a former extreme sports athlete, internationally recognized and sponsored who retired after the completely avoidable death of a friend. After he retired, he decides to go back to school and pursue a career with the FBI. This life changing decision is never addressed; it does not make sense, and is completely illogical. Given that this is the first major plot point, we have to live with an unconvincing character through the entire film, and nothing sinks a narrative faster than unsympathetic or unconvincing characters. Second, the band of professional criminals have no clear motivation, and the FBI has no clear motive to go after them as no crimes giving the FBI jurisdiction took place. Nevertheless, after two or three international crimes have been committed the FBI and cadet Johnny Utah are on the case, and Johnny Utah wastes no time at all identifying them as extreme athletes and divines the obscure series of extreme challenges they are attempting, I would suppose these extreme challenges are well known to all extreme sports athletes. Third, and we are not even into the main action of the film, Jonny Utah has not even graduated from the FBI Academy before he is sent overseas to investigate this group, with next to no supervision. Expert of not, I am more apt to believe the FBI has an X-file division than I would believe a provisional agent, with no time in the field, would be sent overseas to conduct an investigation on his own. Before Johnny Utah ever meats Bodhi, we have to accept three unbelievable, and unconvincing events, that were not only beyond outlandish in their own right, they were not even built up and presented in a convincing manner. It would be like someone holding up a fish and telling you it is a sock, and wearing it the rest of the day expecting you to buy into the delusion. I do not ask a film to convince me of the plausibility of their narrative, just that the narrative is logical enough to accept, and Point Break was unconvincing at every turn.

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