We recently watched Point Break, the new one. The first Point Break movie (1991) was an action, robber/cop drama where Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is a new FBI recruit who breaks into an extreme surfing group led by Bodhi (Patrick Swayze). Bodhi and his gang funded their extravagant surfing lifestyle by robbing banks. It was a hit at the time appealing especially to teens (of which I was one!) and became a classic that my generation can quote from. Of course it was also violent, glamorised crime, and made you want the bad guys to win and pleased when Utah compromised his job and ethics.
The new one (2015) is even worse. In the remake the same characters are there – Johnny Utah and Bodhi, but instead of the simple story of robbing banks to complete some sort of mystical experience (and fuel your own lifestyle), now there is hashed message of environmental nihilism. They are trying to complete the Ozaki 8 – a group of extreme challenges (rockclimbing, surfing, skydiving, etc). These scenes are incredible – the surfing is impressive, the snowboarding is nailbiting, the rock climbing amazing, and the wingsuit flying sequence is possibly the most dangerous stunt in any movie. Reading how they did it on Wikipedia is impressive.
Yet, their belief is that they must pay back the earth for this experience with offerings, and so are happy to rob banks and companies releasing money and diamonds to give to poor villages. They have no problems killing people or causing mayhem to ‘free’ the earth. So exploding gold from a mine and causing an avalanche that kills mine workers is no problem. If they die along their path, so be it, they’ll see each other later. What rubbish.
The cast is unremarkable – I found it hard to remember who was who. There is no fun in any of it, unlike the occasional light-heartedness of the first one. And the storyline is so unbelievable we actually laughed out loud at some of the dialogue.
In hindsight, we should have checked the reviews more carefully - Rotten Tomatoes did give it only 9%!