Combustible Celluloid
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With: Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Delroy Lindo, Ray Winstone, Faris Al-Sultan, Michael Raelert
Written by: Kurt Wimmer, based on a screenplay by W. Peter Iliff, Rick King
Directed by: Ericson Core
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, thematic material involving perilous activity, some sexuality, language and drug material
Running Time: 113
Date: 12/25/2015

Point Break (2015)

1 Star (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Like many remakes, this so-called adventure yarn seems designed more like a soulless factory product, a calculated grab at some overseas profits, than anything that anyone actually wanted to be involved with. Based on Kathryn Biglow's terrific Point Break (1991), the new version copies the basic idea, but strips away most of the nuance and feeling; this one is unbendingly simple, with few tough decisions or emotional struggles.

Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) was once an extreme sports enthusiast, until his best friend (Max Thieriot) dies during a stunt. Years later, he joins the FBI and learns about a group of extreme sports enthusiasts who use their skills to rob banks and then give the money away. Utah is sent to investigate. He winds up joining up with Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez), a man who has dedicated himself to completing the "Osaki 8," eight nearly impossible ordeals designed to honor the forces of nature. As Utah learns more about the spiritual aspect of Bodhi's quest, not to mention becoming involved with the pretty Samsara (Teresa Palmer), it becomes increasingly difficult to complete his mission. Not to mention that he could lose his life.

Even with all the stunts — photographed with an annoyingly busy, roving camera — it feels like very little is actually at stake here. (It's pretty easy to predict when any of the characters is going to die.) There's no suspense; additionally, the dialogue is heavy on plot exposition and blatantly obvious statements, and pop music is awkwardly relied upon. Ramirez can't match Patrick Swayze in the original; Bracey doesn't even come close to Keanu Reeves, and Teresa Palmer looks like she has turned off her brain, emphasizing her cleavage over her talent.

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