Nature Versus Man

Point Break

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Director: Ericson Core

Cast: Luke Bracey, Edgar Ramirez, Teresa Palmer, Ray Winstone, Delroy Lindo, Tobias Santelmann, Nikolai Kinski, Clemens Schick

The 2015 remake of the 1991 surf thriller Point Break, which originally starred Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves and directed by Kathryn Bigelow moves the action from California to the French Riviera and features a more international cast including Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez (Zero Dark Thirty) as Bodhi and Australian actor Luke Bracey (The November Man) as Johnny Utah yet does not live up to the original.

Nevertheless, Ericson Core’s version of Point Break comes across more as a globetrotting extreme sports adventure film than a hard core action film and whilst the stunts are fantastic, the storyline does not feature anything fresh or innovative, but remains loyal to the original plot of an FBI agent who infiltrates a group of extreme sports men, headed by the alpha male Bodhi as they jet set around the globe and attempt some awe inspiring stunts while their criminal acts appear to be philanthropic.

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The onscreen bromance between Bodhi and Johnny Utah is an essential ingredient which director Bigelow captured so well in the first film, however in this version, the actors Bracey and Ramirez do not quite accomplish that genuine competitiveness. Their fragile friendship is strained too early in the film and soon the narrative and characterisation gets lost amidst the spectacular stunts and action sequences mainly in the French and Italian Alps.

Whilst the rest of the cast assist with making this bromance believable including Ray Winstone as Utah’s FBI handler and a cast of European actors which make up Bodhi’s crew including Norwegian actor Tobias Santelmann (Hercules) as Chowder and German actor Clemens Schick (Casino Royale) as Roach with Natassja Kinski’s younger half-brother Nikolai Kinski (Saint Laurent) playing a wealthy reckless playboy Pascal al Fariq who funds their various international heists from Mumbai to Mexico.

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The extreme sports in this version of Point Break range from snowboarding to wingsuit flying, high speed motor cross and surfing 70 foot waves in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Viewers get the impression that Ericson Core’s version of Point Break tried to dazzle 21st century audiences yet got carried away with the visual possibilities especially since he originally was director of photography for such films as Daredevil and The Fast and The Furious. This version of the film is by no means as good as the original directed by Kathryn Bigelow who went on to win an Oscar for The Hurt Locker.

2015’s Point Break does have that international multicultural feel which the original film does not, but somehow the narrative of a gang of dare-devil extreme sports men chasing the elusive eight feats of man conquering nature gets lost amidst the stunts. In the end Nature ultimately proves a worthy contestant.

Australian actress Teresa Palmer (I am Number Four) plays Samsara whose initial love interest with Johnny Utah is soon smothered by the general overwhelming masculine desire to push these natural limits beyond their own human capabilities. Despite its visual appeal, 2015’s Point Break is fun to watch but in no way eclipses the original film which was far better directed and a more exciting action thriller.

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