By Josh Rakic
It’s all right so far as re-makes go
OK, we can all agree that re-makes, re-imaginings and decades-after sequels have become tired and are responsible for turning some of our childhood faves into steaming piles of dinosaur shit. See what we did there with the Jurassic Park reference? Actually, Jurassic World was pretty fun from a simple shock and awe standpoint. And the new Point Break falls into that same category. Is it anything like the original? No. Is it as good from a story standpoint as the original? Nope. Will it become a cult classic like the original? Unlikely. But is it any good? Yeah. It’s not bad. It’s fun.
From a visual standpoint, it’s nothing short of sensational. We don’t say that lightly, but seeing Bruce Irons carve red alert Chopes at 40 feet in 3D on a giant screen is worth the ticket price alone. It truly is the best representation of Chopes you will ever see without surfing it yourself. And that’s the difference between this and the 1991 original – why there can be no comparison but by title and character names. Because this film does things that weren’t even imaginable when the original was released. Action and adventure sports were in their infancy. Tow-in surfing didn’t exist. Wing suits were what superheroes wore in comics. Heli-skiing was a rarity and snowboards barely existed. And this film has all of that and a shit-ton more.
It’s a globe-trotting re-imagining that features 100 per cent real stunts carried out by the world’s best actions sports athletes – think Bruce Irons, Ian Walsh, Bob Burnquist and a Santa’s sack-load of Red Bull wing suit specialists, snowboarders and rock climbers. And it’s done with the latest in camera and 3D technology, making this Point Break effectively a kick-ass action sports film with a thin plot. We say thin because there’s not much to it and the director gives more time to the action sequences – never seen before in such quality – than the story itself.
This time around, Johnny Utah is no novice. He’s an action sports superstar who becomes an FBI agent after he blames himself for the death of his friend during a motocross stunt that opens the movie. We meet Johnny – played damn well by Sydney lad and legend Luke Bracey – after he’s quit riding all together and is an FBI rookie. Of course, the angry police captain trope is there and he hates Johnny. But when Johnny says he knows how to catch the action sports athletes-come-international heist specialists who are terrorising the world’s richest companies, he’s sent on an undercover international adventure to infiltrate the group and bring them to justice before they complete the Ozaki 8.
The Ozaki what you ask? Yeah, that’s where it all gets muddy. Bodhi and his group of bandits are trying to complete eight impossible trials against the force of nature that will make them one with the earth and bring the ultimate enlightenment – think snowboarding down a brutal beak, surfing Jaws at 40 feet, free climbing Angel Falls and wing-suiting five-wide through canyons. Like Captain Planet, each is linked to some sort of natural resource. All the while, they’re pulling off heists and escapades to take from the rich and give back to the mother earth in a Robin Hood sense. But that’s never super clear and doesn’t make that much sense. It’s super contradictory. But because Johnny knows what the Ozaki 8 is, he knows where the group will be next to complete their next trial.
And from there on in, the plot loosely revolves around the original one in that Johnny and Bodhi becomes besties before their respective jobs force them to turn against each other. The film pays homage to the original with a couple select scenes – namely where Johnny lets Bodhi go and fires off six rounds into the air. Other than that, it’s largely a stand alone movie that bares little resemblance to the original. And in this case, that’s a good thing. If you’re a surfer, snowboarder or fan of action sports at all, you wanna see it in cinema and 3D. For what it lacks in story and plot, it makes up for with visual prowess that doesn’t rely on CGI.