The 1991 Kathlyn Bigelow-directed film didn’t have to tom-tom its subversiveness. Thieves wearing masks showing maniacally grinning former presidents robbing banks? Check. Thieves with the charisma of stars throwing up the image of cautious law breakers? Check. Rookie FBI agent falling completely under the spell of that charm? Check again.
Take Point Break 24 years later. It’s not just presidents who are bleached of colour. Even thieves must center their wickedness on something as concrete as concern for the earth.
So, the gang of thieves are this time chasing eight ordeals specified by a green warrior, who given his name that is Ozaki and his beard that is thin and pointy, must be taken for a zen master of some sorts. The ordeals all involve an extreme sport of some kind, in air, water, or on mountain and land, which we are told is a way of saying “thank you” to the planet. At other times the gang gives away money it steals to the poor — diamonds to Mumbai slums, cash to Mexico jungles — as an offering to earth. The largesse is always strewn from the sky, in as skewed a sense of altruism as any in this film.
If that is not enough, the film puts its cast of largely character-less actors through episodes designed to impress rather than engage. The more the actors skid, slide, swim, fly and fight as part of their “spirited” performance, the less and less concerned you are about where they are hurting in the process.
Ramirez, standing in for Patrick Swayze from the original, doesn’t have the late actor’s natural swagger, but makes up with his eyes promising a world of buried pain. Bracey, who is in the Johnny Utah role, is someone’s version of Keanu Reeves. And a very bad version where Reeves loses his vulnerability for a mess of long blond hair.
The failure of Point Break is in a sense the failure of our times. We are a generation spent of causes, and fighting for own “human spirit” is no more enough.
Director: Ericson CoreStarring
Cast: Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Ray Winstone, Teresa Palmer