Jun 112016
 
Title: Point Break
Genre: Action
Starring: Edgar Ramírez,
Luke Bracey,
Ray Winstone,
Teresa Palmer,
Delroy Lindo,
Certificate: US: PG-13
UK: 12
Picture: 2.40:1
Audio Format: Dolby Digital 5.1
Runtime: 1 Hours 54 mins
Extras: Deleted Scenes.
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: USA: Mar 29 2016
UK: Jun 13 2016
See If You Like: The Fast and the Furious,
Point Break (1991),

Lacking in heart, imagination, panache, and charisma the Point Break remake is about to hit DVD and Blu-ray, and it’s easy to see while this remake of Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 action classic bombed at the Box Office; it’s shockingly dull, fantastically bland, and instantly forgettable.

It’s actually quite a feat to make a film about an undercover FBI agent, investigating extreme athletes who rob banks, gold mines, diamonds, give all their ill-gotten gains to the poor, and escape by base jumping, dirt biking, parachuting, snowboarding, etc. their way to freedom, dull – especially when the action scenes are so well planned and executed.

Consisting of largely practical effects, the stunt work on display is simply stunning; the motorcycle work, the snowboarding, flying down mountainsides wearing wingsuits, jumping off buildings and out of planes, etc.; it’s generally pretty well shot too (though not exceptionally so), and will serve as a perfect video resumé for the stunt team involved with the film.

Outside of the visual and technical side of the stunts however, there’s very little to praise, as cinematographer-turned-director Ericsson Core’s direction is merely competent and shows little to no flair whatsoever, the characters are barely two dimensional, and there’s simply no believable motivation for our hero to heel-turn and start sympathising with the bad guys – the crux of the entire film (which side is he on? – apparently neither).

Luke Bracey (The November Man) and Edgar Ramirez (The Bourne Ultimatum) are also fairly poor leading men; they’ll never reach the heights of Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze (their respective counterparts from the original movie), and lack the charisma Reeves and Swayze had and used to sell their characters, making both believable and endearing. Here, both Bracey’s undercover FBI agent Utah (ex-extreme athlete turned cop) and Ramirez’s Bodhi (head crook, and wannabe philosopher) are so weakly written and under-performed there’s no incentive to care what happens to either one of them (meaning while the infamous gun scene is recreated, it feels forced and lacks all impact).

Supporting stars fare no better, as Ray Winstone (The Departed) seems to pop up solely to have a recognisable name on the poster (his character is basically irrelevant), Teresa Palmer (The Choice) is little more than the eye candy (under utilised as such, and sadly finds her character stripped of all importance the woman from the original had on affecting the men’s thought processes), and even the FBI instructor role played by Delroy Lindo (Gone in 60 Seconds) is reduced to the typical black chief type we’ve seen so often.

It’s a sad case of wasted potential (clear to see, as the original – which also failed to perform at the Box Office – has become such a classic), as there’s clearly so many interesting facets and caveats to a film such as Point Break; not only do you have the insanely fun fringe lifestyle these mean and women choose to live, but the excitement of the heists, the complex relationship between the undercover agent and his target, and the question of will he/won’t he bring him down; everyone of which is stripped of all meaning and tossed aside for a new bike scene or piece of fortune cookie philosophy.

There are also so many insane stunts they lose all impact – appearing in quick succession, with apparently little to no effort needed to master each trait (rock climbing without safety gear, surfing freakishly large waves, snowboarding away from an avalanche) – they simply appear normal, as if each is nothing too special – and as there’s no heart, worthy dialogue, no real character development, and essentially nothing of interest in-between the stunt-heavy sequences, Point Break is basically nothing more than a stunt-team’s ultimate highlight reel.

POINT BREAK

Picture:

Whilst technically a sound release in terms of picture quality (fine detail is strong, blacks are acceptable, and there aren’t too many visible errors beyond a certain amount of digital crush), there’s no denying Point Break looks hideous on DVD. It’s awful look however reflects the theatrical release, and is largely due to the washed out colour palette which coats everything with an orange tinge (even plants and jungle life begin to look yellow), meaning skin tones are never natural, and the whole affair looks like your run of the mill straight-to-DVD action tripe.

Audio:

Coming to DVD with an impressive sounding 5.1 Dolby Digital mix, the audio quality for Point Break is every bit as good as you’d hope, and contains all the staples of a standard action-heavy track. With plenty of robust low end, and consistently active rear channels the soundstage is often bombarded with loud music and all sorts of flying debris/noise, coming by way of solid pans, effective directional usage, and well-thought out placement. Dialogue fares less well, being clearly overdubbed (not sitting right with the video onscreen), and sometimes still getting drowned out within the mix. Yet all-in-all this is a bold, brash, soundtrack sure to appease many a listener.

Extras:

Falling woefully short of the currently expected norms in terms of bonus materials, we’re simply ‘treated’ to a short selection of completely skippable deleted scenes which aren’t even worth the disc-space they take up. A clear non-effort, it would’ve been so easy, and so much more rewarding, to have included a simply making-of and stunt-based featurette or two.

The Bottom Line:

So with a technically sound yet stylistically awful video presentation, and a dire selection of bonus features, the only thing which truly saves the Point Break DVD is its stellar audio presentation, yet even great sound isn’t enough to inject some much needed heart into this charisma-lacking remake.

The stunts are exceptional (though clearly suffer from the effect of diminishing returns), yet the plot is ridiculous, the acting is sub-par, and the entire movie is both woefully underwritten and severely lacking in direction. The characters and actors are instantly forgettable, and both pale in comparison to their 1990 counterparts as this remake simply doesn’t have the heart, the motivation, and the emotion needed to make a sensationalist story such as this succeed. Sadly though, even ignoring the original, Point Break wouldn’t be a success, as movies such as the Fast and Furious franchise deliver a similar adrenaline-fuelled experience on a much bigger scale, far better, and with a hell of a lot more fun than Point Break. So, unless you’re interested in a surprisingly drab stunt team’s highlight reel, re-watch the classic 1990 Point Break, or revisit the Fast and Furious boxset.

Matt Wheeldon@TheMattWheeldon.

Film:
Ratings 04 Buy from Amazon.co.uk Buy from Amazon.com
Video:
Ratings 04
Audio:
Ratings 08
Extras:
Ratings 02
Overall:
Ratings 04