Director: Ericson Core
Cast: Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Judah Lewis and Ray Winstone
Running Time: 114 minutes
Release Date: February 5th
Sometime in the early noughties, film studios scrambled to capitalise on the success of The Matrix by commissioning any old rubbish that featured guys in leather running around and shooting guns in slow motion. One of these was Equilibrium, an okay-ish dystopian sci-fi which inexplicably starred Christian Bale and was written and directed by one Kurt Wimmer, whose sole directing credit to that point was the delightfully-titled One Tough Bastard. He followed this up with Ultraviolet, an action movie so painful to watch that, if you’ve seen it, I can only presume you’re reading this in Braille as you no doubt clawed your own eyes out well before it was over. Since then he’s written a few scripts, none of them good, and so it boggles the mind that someone somewhere decided to give him the job of writing the Point Break remake. The results are as spectacularly awful as you might expect.
One can only assume that in the immediate wake of receiving the call that he got the job, Wimmer proceeded to get extremely high and watch Kathryn Bigelow’s original 1991 film with the sound off, followed by about ten hours worth of Red Bull-sponsored extreme sports videos on YouTube. Once he sobered up, he then attempted to piece together the fragmented memories of the experience into a screenplay written over the course of half an hour or so – surely nowhere near as long a timeframe as the unendurable length of the insufferable end product. The script was duly handed over to The Fast and the Furious’ cinematographer Ericson Core to direct and thus, Hollywood magic was made. The result is a pointless, utterly misguided remake of a film that – let’s remove those rose-tinted glasses and be honest – wasn’t very good to begin with. Bigelow’s film is, however, a timeless masterpiece when compared to this utter trash.
Édgar Ramírez takes on Patrick Swayze’s role as Bodhi (a five-letter name that the set designer couldn’t even spell correctly on the FBI’s wall of suspects), who leads a group of eco-warriors-cum-terrorists on a quest across the world to complete a series of extreme sports challenges while simultaneously carrying out criminal acts that serve to… oh, I don’t know, something plot-related I assume. By reading that last sentence you’ve already got more of an idea of what’s going on in this movie than anyone involved in its creation. These hippy psychos can only be stopped by Johnny Utah, played by some guy who looks like the result of a failed Taylor Kitsch cloning experiment where they accidentally dropped in some Michael Shannon DNA. This empty-headed piece of man-meat must infiltrate the gang while struggling with his inner demons dude, like, totally becoming bros with the bros but then, like, having to take them down. Gnarly. When Keanu Reeves had ten times the charisma and magnetism playing your role, you know you’re in trouble.
Credit where it’s due, the cinematography is nice. That’s it though, as far as reasons to see this go. Any semi-good idea, such as the concept of the ‘Ozaki 8’ – eight extreme experiences that are designed to bring you closer to nature, man – are completely wasted and/or run into the ground with eye-rolling implausibility. The pacing is brain-bustingly awful; it’s an hour of relentless EXTREME SPORTS followed by some muddled and inexplicable conflict, then a Return of the King-beating series of ‘is it over yet?’ endings that ultimately fizzle into absolutely nothing of any consequence. It wastes the talents of Ray Winstone and Teresa Palmer – the only named female character in the entire film who, even at that, only exists to serve as a dreamgirl for Utah. Ramírez was so good in Carlos a few years ago; what happened? Surely he can’t be this desperate to break into American cinema? And for those wondering, yes, it does have the bit where he shoots the gun up in the air and screams. And yes, it – along with every other part of this braindead thing – is cringe-inducingly terrible. Breaking point reached.