Point Break (2015) Review

Point Break is one of those films where I’m almost surprised that it got a remake. I mean most things get remakes eventually but I wouldn’t say the first film is one of the top ones that comes to mind when I’m thinking about a thriller. It just felt like a random remake but hey, it’s here so how did it fare? Well I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original and yet I would still say it edges this one out. It’s not a landslide victory, they’re both on around the same level but this feels like a slimmed down version with characters that aren’t as interesting. The only interesting thing here is the whole eco-warrior angle and that part isn’t fleshed out as much as you might expect.

The film starts off with Johnny Utah pulling off some great stunts once again but unfortunately it gets a bit too intense and his friend dies. He decides not to do the stunts anymore and becomes an FBI agent. Well, there are now a string of odd crimes happening around the world and Johnny notices a trend that everyone missed. The villains are attempting to complete the Ozaki 8. These are crazy stunts where nobody has ever managed to complete the whole set in their lifetime before. These crooks are accomplishing those feats while also robbing places and causing general mayhem which is the impressive part. The FBI agents don’t really buy into this theory though so Johnny is on his own when he goes over to prove this theory. If agent Pappas doesn’t think there is any promise after a short while he will pull the plug on this little operation. Can Johnny find these crooks?

Well, that might be the wrong question. See, Johnny finds them very quickly. That’s not really the hard part here. The hard part is that he quickly starts to hang out with them and doesn’t think they are so bad. In a way he wants to take them in peacefully and he also needs proof which will be difficult. It puts him in a tough spot and that’s also why you really don’t want to be an undercover operative for too long. The longer the mission goes on the more suspicious the villains are naturally going to get. So there is always a timer here.

I would also say that Johnny sure gets lucky a whole lot of the time. If the villains were smarter and made direct moves from the start then Johnny would have been doomed. He’s not exactly subtle with how he will vanish for a full day and then come back. He’s extremely suspicious with all of his little trips. Basically Bodhi at least figured something was up midway but instead of finishing Johnny off he plays along because he hopes to convert Johnny. Overconfidence? Yes absolutely, things would have gone a lot smoother for him if he just made Johnny disappear and that wouldn’t have been hard.

Johnny does have some street cred by being a former extreme sports guy and that at least was a god addition to the film. It actually makes sense to add to his cover and yeah it might be convenient but it also gives more reason why he wouldn’t be immediately distrusted at least so I can get behind that. This one has less of a focus on the surfing and in exchange it’s more like a decathalon as there are a bunch of different sports and activities being played here.

Ironically Johnny reduces the villains’ numbers by getting caught up in the moment and making things a little too extreme. His old habits kick in during a snowboarding level where one guy doesn’t make it. Bodhi and the gang aren’t too bothered since they figure it’s everyone’s choice to go on and that is true. I mean you’d probably still be rather guilty about the whole thing but I don’t think he’s wrong. At the end of the day when someone encourages you to do something, you (almost) always have a choice and so if you do go through with it, you can’t go blaming the other person.

So Bodhi and the gang’s intentions here are to save the environment and complete the stunts. Where this falls flat for me is that their goal doesn’t seem very focused and doesn’t seem to help the environment much at all. Johnny even calls them out for this by saying how they keep taking a lot of money and living the good life but when will they give back? Sure they occasionally give money to people but they don’t seem to be the selfless Robin Hood types that they claim to be. I would say Johnny is right on this, sure they were always going to be villains either way but showing more of how they actually helped the environment would have done a lot to make them more compelling as villains. I think it would have made a world of difference at least and they wouldn’t have been nearly as bland.

In general bland is probably how you would describe the film. It does have some good visuals and action scenes as they perform these extreme stunts but the actual story around that is so forgettable. Half of the conversations between the characters are about the environment and the world around them yet you don’t feel like they are actually saying much. It is a lot of dialogue without a whole lot of actual focus and that is the problem.

I also didn’t care for the main character much because to an extent I think the agents were right that he lost sight of his duties here. He gets distracted way too easily while trying to learn about them. I don’t feel like he really held back once the chips were down but he would have worked harder to stop them. I don’t think fitting in with the group was the most effective way to stop them and at the end of the day they are still big criminals. Even if Johnny sees that they are trying to do something good, it really doesn’t change the bigger picture. You have to stop them.

Now for the ending, it is going for an emotional vibe of course but I do think at this point Johnny is obligated to stop Bodhi. Basically the situation involves arresting Bodhi or letting him destroy himself. At least in the original you could see how Bodhi might have a chance if his skills were up to par but this time he went in a boat so it just felt like a suicide mission. I feel like Johnny has to quickly try and stop him here because there is no chance of success. Additionally Bodhi needs to answer for his crimes rather than getting to go out on his own terms like that. Sometimes death is the easy way out and this is one of those times. Johnny needed to hang in there and make sure this didn’t happen.

Overall, Point Break just feels a little unfocused and didn’t put enough attention to the plot. The stunts were on point but you can’t really make a whole film about that. You need a focus, some kind of overarching story to make it all work and this one didn’t really have that. The characters aren’t the best and I think the film thought that it was a lot deeper than it actually was. As a result the whole thing ends up being rather weak and I can’t say that I would really recommend it. It’s not bad but it’s just not very inspired. I would say to watch any Mission Impossible film starting with film 4 instead for some good stunts that are connected through an exciting plot.

Overall 5/10


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.