In Alcon Entertainment's fast-paced, high-adrenaline action thriller Point Break, a young FBI agent, Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey), infiltrates a cunning team of thrill-seeking elite athletes – led by the charismatic Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez). The athletes are suspected of carrying out a spate of crimes in extremely unusual ways. Deep undercover, and with his life in imminent danger, Utah strives to prove they are the architects of this string of inconceivable crimes.
I can't fathom a reason why Kathryn Bigelow's action drama 'Point Break' was rebooted. Well, actually I can. With Hollywood entrenched in its rebooting, rehashing, remaking ways, it was only a matter of time until they double-backed on kind-of-popular titles and started redoing them.
Sure, the original 'Point Break' has its fans. It has its memorable moments, chief among them being the moment when Keanu's character Johnny Utah shoots his gun into the air while yelling, because he can't bring himself to shoot his new criminal friend Bodhi (Patrick Swayze). It's a scene made all the more memorable by being spoofed in Edgar Wright's 'Hot Fuzz.' And that's about the extent to which 'Point Break' should be remembered.
Then along comes a reboot of it, starring a range of semi-known and unknown faces following along the same plot points. Here Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) is an ex-motocross star who blames himself for the death of his friend and teammate. Now, in order to atone for his past – or something – Utah joins up with the FBI. He's given up the adrenaline junkie lifestyle and is now gunning for a suit and tie job with the feds.
Luckily Utah comes into the FBI at the same time a team of well-organized criminals are pulling off elaborate heists. Their international robberies are unusual because – surprise, surprise – they're using extreme sports techniques to pull them off.
Here the high-octane scenes of base jumping, motocross racing, free climbing, free diving, and surfing monstrous waves seem more like commercials for GoPro cameras than a coherent, engaging cinematic narrative.
The biggest problem is that none of the characters have any charisma, which at least could be said for Reeves and Swayze in the original. Here Bracey, and Edgar Ramirez (who plays Bodhi) are wooden stand-ins.
Once Utah predictably infiltrates Bodhi's team the sequences play out exactly like we think they will. Perhaps this remake would play better with someone like Chris Hemsworth as Bodhi. Someone that can engage the audience, but also exude that unattainable coolness Swayze had.
There's little in the way of interest here, as audiences attested to. The 2015 'Point Break' failed to even reach the box office numbers of the original. It barely made over half and that's without adjusting for any inflation. While box office numbers shouldn't be used in many cases in proving whether a film is good or bad, here it creates a startling realization. A realization that remakes aren't instant moneymakers.
This new 'Point Break' seemed like it was created as a way to inject a slim narrative into an extreme sports video montage. Like how some adult movies follow a thin plotline just because why not? The real tragedy is that besides the sequence where Utah and his new criminal friends don wingsuits and jump off a really tall mountain, the rest of the action scenes – surfing, climbing, snowboarding – are all rather tame.
So it's little surprise that the remake of 'Point Break' falls resoundingly flat on all fronts. Hell, you can go on Youtube and find hundreds of videos showing the exact stuff Bodhi and his gang do here – minus the criminal activity. There's nothing here that warrants a remake. Revisiting this “franchise” was a waste of Warner Bros. money and now they know that.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
This is a two-disc set that comes with a 50GB Blu-ray and a DVD. A code for an UltraViolet Digital Copy is also provided. The standard keepcase is housed in a cardboard slipcover.
Sporting the ever-present teal and orange, Warner's 1080p presentation definitely looks like every other movie out there. Yes, it's a sharp detailed image, but it says a lot about the movie when even the visuals are redundant.
With the filters applied in post-production, skintones take on either a slightly yellow or slightly pale blue look. Detail is nice though. Faces harbor a lot of great fine detail. I was impressed by the way large cresting ocean waves were reproduced here. The foam and froth of the waves always looked clean and clear. There was never any discernable distortion or visual noise as the water crested and foamed as it came crashing down.
Dark scenes are well done. Blacks are resolute. Crushing is never really a problem. Softer shots occur during underwater filming, but that's to be expected. There's nothing overtly wrong with 'Point Break's transfer. It sports a sterile cleanliness.
Well, this is a strange one. When 'Point Break' was first announced for Blu-ray Warner said the disc would come complete with a Dolby Atmos track. Alas, the lossless track contained on this release is actually a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix. That's not to say the 7.1 mix is bad. It's not. It's quite immersive. It's just weird that Warner never followed through with their Atmos promise.
Here we get great use of surrounds. One of the best scenes for panning effects is the wingsuit sequence. There are moments where the sound seamlessly travels from back, to sides, to front as the guys whoosh past from the top to the bottom of the frame. The rear and side channels are constantly alive with ambient and action-centric sounds. The soundtrack is endlessly pumped through the surround channels too. It almost seemed as if the surrounds were just as busy as the front and center channels.
The sub-woofer is quite busy too. There are plenty of crashing waves, gunshots, and explosions for the woofer to handle. LFE is constantly engaged and rumbling. While this may not be the Atmos title people were hoping for. It still provides a rather stellar audio mix.
'Point Break' Stunts (HD, 8 min.) – There are four brief featurettes included here that quickly cover the main extreme sports sequences in the movie – rock climbing, wingsuit flying, snowboarding, and motorcross.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 8 min.) – Four throwaway scenes are included here.
This is a haphazard remake at best and an egregious error at worst. There's nothing about the original 'Point Break,' that required it to be rebooted. Add the fact that the filmmakers this time around didn't even think to put charismatic leads in place to drive the story, and you have an all-time stinker. It just feels so lazy. It has some good audio and video presentations, but Warner totally reneged on their promise of providing Atmos with this release. This is one to rent if you're at all interested in it.