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POINT BREAK (USA/China/Germany 2015) *1/2
Directed by Ericson Core
Review by Gilbert Seah
POINT BREAK is a remake of the Kathryn Bigelow 1991 hit film starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves. Bigelow is a female director able to create big hits with strong male content action films like THE HURT LOCKER, ZERO DARK THIRTY, STRANGE DAYS and my favourite and her first film, NEAR DARK. Director Ericson Core has tough shoes to fill.
The surfing definition of POINT BREAK refers to the type of long-lasting wave found off a coast with a headland or point. A point break is formed when a swell moves around the land almost at a right angle to the beach and a break which begins near the point gradually progresses along the wave. Bigelow’s film involves a FBI agent going undercover to infiltrate a gang of bank robbers disguising themselves as surfers.
The difference in the new POINT BREAK is a series of robberies done by not surfers but extreme sport specialists. They do the big surf in the last climatic scene but engage too, in other sports such as snowboarding, rock climbing and wingsuit flying.
The story of the new POINT BREAK involves a young FBI agent, Utah (Luke Bracey) infiltrating a team of extreme sports athletes he suspects of masterminding a string of unprecedented, sophisticated corporate heists. He engages in this quest as redemption after losing his brother in an extreme sport accident. 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.
Newcomer Luke Bracey delivers a weak performance. With his blond hair and chiseled body, he looks like a model in many scenes with his perfect blond hair flung across his face. Delroy Lindo playing Utah’s boss fairs worse. All he does is bitch about Utah’s job. Utah takes the risks and fights the bad guys but his boss keeps complaining and giving Utah a hard time. Edgar Ramirez (an up and coming star, his last film JOY), who plays bad guy Bodhi, cannot help much either.
The film contains some good scenes involving extreme sports. The rock climbing, surfing and motorbike segments are well shot. But the action and fight sequences lack any excitement.
The plot lacks credibility. The eight ordeals that Bodhi seeks make little sense. He ends up completing seven with the last one left in limbo. Utah somehow manages to figure out all the ordeals Bodhi has completed, something hardly believable.
POINT BREAK which costs close to $100 million only made $10 million domestic the first weekend. However, being a Chinese and German co-production, it opened elsewhere a week before North America grossing a remarkable $50 million, which helps the poor domestic numbers. Still, POINT BREAK is far from being a satisfying action flick. The film sags after the first 15 minutes and picks up just a little towards the end. The open ending does not help either. Action fans prefer closure. Open endings are more suited to artsy films which POINT BREAK definitely isn’t.
POINT BREAK ends up the most boring action film of 2015.
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