"The Point Break remake takes its subject matter and itself very seriously, which is where the wheels fall off."
There are two good reasons to remake the 1991 action movie Point Break: the title is a well known and well loved one, so it makes financial sense, and the idea of mixing extreme sports and illegal activities is too cool to leave alone for too long.
However, there are many more good reasons not to remake Point Break, foremost among which is the lightning-in-a-bottle combination of talent that made the original movie such a cult classic.
I mean, the '91 Point Break had Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow at full throttle (one wishes she'd take a break from prestige pictures like The Hurt Locker to have a little fun again), not to mention Keanu Reeves at the dawn of his action-man phase and the late Patrick Swayze at the apex of his.
Beyond that, though, the original had a rare quality: it was both aware and respectful of its own ridiculousness. It knew full well when it was heading over the top, and then it hit the accelerator even harder. (If you want a modern-day equivalent, check out the last few Fast & Furious movies.)
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In comparison, the Point Break remake takes its subject matter and itself very seriously, which is where the wheels fall off.
It's a capably made thrill ride, sure, with some white-knuckle stunts in some gorgeous locations. But the verve is absent, and it feels like everyone involved is obliged to be there and do the best work they can without feeling too excited about it.
Aussie actor Luke Bracey plays FBI rookie Johnny Utah, a former motocross champ who has a hunch that a recent string of high profile heists are being executed by extreme athletes wih a yen for big-wave surfing and wingsuit-gliding.
Given a shot to investigate further, Utah hooks up with Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez), an enigmatic guru type who leads a crew of radical thrillseekers.
Bodhi's crew is on an eight-step path to enlightenment that often involves jumping from great heights, but when they're not doing that they're robbing from the rich and giving to the poor.
Yes, they're well intentioned but they're breaking the law, and Johnny Utah won't stand for that. Or will he?
Sadly, Bracey lacks the charisma of a Hemsworth, making his Utah a less than compelling hero. And while Ramirez isn't short on screen presence, his energy is a little too muted to give Point Break the boost it so desperately needs.