In recent years, Hollywood has become very oversaturated with unnecessary sequels, reboots and remakes - all excuses for the industry to cash in big using iconic property names. Not all are bad though and the occasional remake can be good. This February welcomes in the remake of the 1991 action classic Point Break - the film we all asked for (!!) Here's my review of it.

1991's Point Break is one of my all-time favourite action movies. It's exhilarating, thrilling and just tons of fun and it's also one of those films that you can watch over and over again, never tire of and still love just as much each time. When it was announced that a remake was going to be made, I was skeptical but I was also hopeful. I knew it wasn't going to be as good as the original but I was hoping it could be at least somewhat fun, because of how great the premise and idea is. At the same time, I was worried that if this wasn't good, it could ruin the Point Break name. Unfortunately, that's exactly what this remake does and my doubts have all been realised. This is the perfect example of what a "cash-grab" is; cashing in on the success of the original but not trying in any way to make a somewhat competent film.

The premise is fairly identical to the original with a couple of little changes here and there, in an attempt to keep things "fresh" and "original". After seeing a colleague of his die duing a stunt, renowned extreme-sports enthusiast Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) decides to switch from performing crazy stunts for YouTube to being an FBI agent. When a string of extraordinary heists take place across three continents, Utah's skills are required when his boss (Delroy Lindo) sends the former daredevil into action, tasked with going undercover to infiltrate this elitist group - run by the elusive Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez) - and bring them down from the inside.

One of the main aspects of the original's success and part of the reason it was so great was because of its characters. The film really managed to get us invested and rooting for people that were, effectively, criminals. The heart of Point Break was the bromance and relationship between Utah and Bodhi and both Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swazye gave iconic performances that worked for the film. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for this latest iteration of Utah and Bodhi, played by Luke Bracey and Edgar Ramirez, respectively. It's not that the performances are bad, both Bracey and Ramirez give their best efforts, but it's just that we do not care for these characters. The script for this film, penned by Kurt Wimmer, is very dull and the dialogue is very contrived and clich├ęd and we have little to no attachment to any of the characters, all very unlikeable and and written so poorly.
The term "style over substance" is clearly the mindset director Erikson Core had when making this film because this is an over-saturated, all too contrived, polished up, stylish product that comes in a shiny package but has very little actual substance to it. The quippy one-liners all come off as cheesy; the chemistry between our characters feels forced and there is no bond between Utah and Bodhi; Ray Winstone is criminally underused, and his portrayal of Gary Busey's beloved character Pappas from the original feels undernourished and unnecessary. The only thing this film has going for it is the stunts, which we'll get to in just a moment. Everything the 1991 Point Break did so well is where the 2016 Point Break falters and does wrong. It feels like an over-polished, artifical extreme sports video we'd see on YouTube rather than an actual film, with actual characters and actual dialogue and an actual story.

I mentioned the stunts up above and if there's one aspect of this film where it excels, it's there. Core brought in real professional extreme sports athletes for the stunt work and the sequences are all breathtaking to watch, so beautifully shot and done. They are expertly performed and finely executed but, after a while, they begin to get fairly repetitive and tedious. It's almost as if this is a two hour long extreme sports video on YouTube and without much narrative and enriching characters or dialogue tying all these stunts together, they feel without our purpose and tedium begins to kick in. I can't say it really adds much to the film seeing as there's not much of an actual film here, just some well-done action sequences. Again, it's all very over-polished and stylised and although there's not a lot of it, the CGI is absolutely atrocious - especially seeing how this is supposed to be such a raw, real film.

The original Point Break was such a perfect action movie that the remake could never ever surpass it. However, the 2016 Point Break is not even good, let alone anywhere near the original. This is a mess. Everything that made the 1991 classic so wonderful is thrown out of the window in this dull, lacklustre and very frustrating endeavour. The heart and wit is gone. The likable, charismatic characters are gone. The intensity and thrills are gone. The fun and spirit is gone. Thanks Hollywood for yet another unnecessary, over-bloated, over-saturated and just bad remake that no one wanted nor asked for. Point Break is just a bad film. It's a convoluted mess of a picture.

The remake no one asked for but that we got anyway, Point Break is lacklustre, frustrating and a disgrace to the 1991 classic. Thanks Hollywood.

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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