Bigger is not better in the 2015 remake of Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 masterpiece Point Break. In the 2015 version, the basic story remains the same: an FBI agent goes undercover as a surfer to foil a band of adrenaline-junky bank robbers. The new Point Break stumbles by going too big, changing the small-time crooks, from the original, into spiritual Robin Hoods on a quest to complete the Ozaki Eight, a series of daredevil feats only an X-Gamer could perform. Whereas Bigelow’s movie was rated-R, with bloody shootouts and the F-word, this new PG-13 version is tame: there’s no blood, no F-word. Lori Petty, who played the love interest in the original, was feisty and interesting. In this new version, Teresa Palmer, who plays the love interest, is a hippie dolt. With Palmer playing a minor role, the relationship between the cop and the robber reaches homoerotic heights as Édgar Ramírez’s eyes smolder while he stares at Luke Bracey, and vice versa. That wasn’t the dynamic in the original, in which Patrick Swayze’s robber was too aloof to be interested in Keanu Reeves’s cop. Like most action movies today, the new Point Break relies heavily on computer generated effects—C.G.I. water looks fake—and quick, confusing editing. In effect, the movie has no grit. Whereas the original Los Angeles centered Point Break had Gary Busey calling Keanu a hotshot and delivering lines like “The air got dirty and the sex got clean,” bandying insults with fellow cops and ordering meatball sandwiches, this new version takes itself too seriously. Not even a Steve Aoki cameo can lighten it up. The original movie was an L.A. caper, this new version is a global catastrophe.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White