Point Break (2015) Recap

Jamie

Johnny Utah is an FBI agent with a dark and x-treme past. He is tasked with infiltrating a gang of equally x-treme criminals who are pulling off x-treme stunts in tandem with robin hood like criminal activity. Unfortunately he finds himself intrigued by their philosophy and x-treme lifestyle. Can he stop them before it’s too late? Find out in… Point Break (2015).

How?! After the tragic death of his… poly extreme athlete (?) friend… *shakes head* Johnny Utah joins the FBI to find purpose in life. In a wild coincidence, right when they are doubting his abilities, a new breed of… poly extreme athlete… *sighs heavily* bank robbers arise. Seeing all the signs of his kindred spirits (and recognizing the tell tale signs of the Ozaki 8 set of extreme sports trials) Johny correctly predicts their next stop on their global crime spree. Setting out to infiltrate the gang by surfing a giant wave, he inadvertently snakes their leader Bodhi’s wave, who is forced to jump in and save Johnny’s life. Curious about this newcomer, and recognizing him from his past tragedy, he lets Johnny into their crew despite the misgivings of his friends. Soon he is base jumping into their hearts, finding love with the beautiful Samsara, and finding closure with his past demons. Everything is looking up… other than the fact that the FBI is kinda pissed that he’s just palling around with these pseudophilosophical extreme losers (nailed it) instead of getting the evidence they need to arrest them. After one of the group dies attempting a snowboarding trial in the Alps, Johnny is depressed and knows things have gone too far. When they bring him in on the next big robbery, blowing up a gold mine (to save the planet or some shit), he attempts to stop them but Bodhi escapes. The FBI moves in when Bodhi attempts to rob a bank to fund the last few ordeals, but again he escapes and Samsara is killed in the process (noooooo). Down but not out, Johnny uses his beautiful mind to track Bodhi to Angel Falls where he free climbs the shit out of it and confronts Bodhi who jumps off the falls and escapes for a final time. Realizing that there is only one ordeal left, he finally tracks Bodhi to a giant wave in the middle of a hurricane where he lets him surf to his death rather than arrest him. THE END. Big Question: So they didn’t rob anything for money? Just to give it back to the earth?… and instead they had a sponsor who funded this activity… why?

Why?! I mean, this is really the crux of the problem here. In the original film the gang was a bunch of surfers who were legit criminals. They robbed for money. Bodhi was just a charismatic criminal leader. In this case they are actually not at all interested in money. Instead they perform increasingly dangerous extreme sports feats in tandem with extreme sports robberies, after which they give the money to the oppressed workers and/or mother earth. In fact the connection of the Ozaki 8 and the robberies is never fully explained… other than an implied connection through Bodhi’s environmental philosophy. The Ozaki 8 are supposed to demonstrate the power of mother earth. The robberies are supposed to be the resulting punishment against those corporations that dared to betray mother earth… you know what, the more I talk about it the stupider is actually is. So I’m just going to stop. Johnny is just trying to find his place in the world and get over the death of his friend… mission accomplished by the end, I guess.

Who?! There are a tremendous number of cameos in the movie. They were mostly featured at the “rad” parties that the crew threw between bank heists. The best cameo was DJ Steve Aoki, who showed up DJing at a ski chalet a la Deadmau5 in Runner Runner. It’s like these films just ask for the hottest DJ so they can make it very clear just how cool the party they are depicting is. There were also interestingly three in memoriams, but not for deaths that occurred on the set. They just were using such high level stunt people that they literally were doing the most dangerous stuff on earth all the time… and some of them unfortunately died before the film was released.

What?! I mean, it’s hard to imagine that such a recent film (and a critical flop to boot) would have many props for sale. I certainly couldn’t dress up as poly extreme athlete Johnny Utah when he was still jamming out on his dirt bike. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. And only $1300? What a deal! They’re even selling a “Utah” skateboard that I don’t even remember being in the film! I have to stop. There is too much.

Where?! A little bit of a road trip film here as Bodhi starts in the United States and then travels through France, Italy, and eventually Venezuela while undercover. We spend the most time in Italy, but Venezuela also has a major landmark (Angel Falls) play a pivotal role in the film. At the very least this is an A- just for that and how clear they made the places where they went.

When?! In the beginning of the film we see footage from a heist which has an October 13th timestamp. They specifically say that heist happened “last month” so we presume that this mostly takes place at the beginning of November. I won’t even allow myself to think of the possibility that the meal that Johnny shares with the crew could possibly be a super secret Thanksgiving. It’s not made clear and so I can’t get my hopes up like that. C

This movie is straight dumb. It’s x-tremely hard to get over the bastardization of the motivations of the characters as compared to the original, but even without that comparison it’s inane. The idea that they are performing death-defying (and sometimes not even defying) stunts in order to specifically NOT steal money is bad and I don’t like it. Especially when the FBI freezes their assets at the end and they have to rob a bank to get more money… you know what might have helped you there? Some money from those crazy bank robberies you performed for free. All that being said, there are moments that are visually electric. I particularly liked the wingsuit scene. It really is amazing. Too bad the actual story set around the beautiful stunts is trash. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! You ever wonder what would happen if some producers decided to remake a beloved 80s action film, but then made it totally different and lame? Wonder no more! Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – This has been on the docket for years now (well … since 2015 to be exact), but I now know I really had no idea what the film was ever about. Because x-treme poly-athletes is not really what I would have guessed. I would have guessed it was still about surfing, just that they also did more extreme skydiving stunts and stuff. I do love vistas, so I was excited regardless. What did I expect? Vistas, vistas, and more vistas. Oh, and also a dumb story. If it gave me vistas without slapping fans of the original in the face then I’d be happy.

The Good – The vistas! Some of the more beautiful action scenes I’ve ever seen. You can kind of see the point of the movie right there: get some really nuts action shots, and build a dumb movie around it. That is well and truly the only good thing about this movie, the action stuff. Because the rest of it is terrible.

The Bad – Alright, let’s start with the fact that this is a slap in the face to fans of the original. In the original you got this hippy dippy surfer nonsense, but that is a real thing. But this hippy dippy x-treme poly-athlete nonsense? Yeah, I’m not buying it. They hijacked the name for no good reason, and then the movie doesn’t even bother to have much surfing in it. The acting is top-to-bottom really bad. And the criminal exploits are just weird, like, they don’t even bother to keep any of the money because they have a private backer? That is insane. What kind of private backer funds a series of x-treme sport endeavors which would kill anyone four times over by the end of it. Repeat after me: x-treme poly-athletes don’t exist. No one is that good at free-solo rock climbing and base jumping / wingsuit stunts. I makes no sense!

The BMT – It’ll always hold a place in my heart due to the vistas. And also it is probably going to be one of the worst adaptations we’ve ever seen forever more. It didn’t quite cross into dog poo territory because I respect the action craft and the vistas, but it really is one of the dumbest films you’ll ever watch. Did it meet my expectations? No, it was a slap in the face to fans of the original and I can never respect that.

Roast-radamus – I have to give it up for the Setting as a Character (Where?) category because I love jet-setting films, and this is one of the best from a vistas perspective. It also had amazing Product Placement (What?) for things like Monster Energy which was all over the place. I have to throw this into the MacGuffin (Why?) category for the entire misguided concept of the Ozaki Eight, which is just complete fucking nonsense. This will have a decent shot at getting mentioned for Bad next year, although I think it ends up missing out on the big awards in any case.

StreetCreditRerpot.com – I don’t remember this, but apparently this was also released on Christmas Day! So yeah, it missed out on all of the big lists for 2015, but no doubt it would have made it onto a few if they had released it in January like they probably should have. It is definitely the worst x-treme poly-athlete film ever made, that seems like a given.

You Just Got Schooled – I rewatched the original Point Break (1991) prior to viewing, and it is a true classic. The group of surfers feel authentic, Gary Busey is hilarious, and the cast is pitch perfect for the film. Yeah, some bits are cheesy. And yeah, the hippy surfer vibe you get from Swayze is a little extreme at times, but it ends up all the more shocking once you realize that he’s a fake. He’s a criminal, and his hippy dippy vibe and attitude is cultivated by surrounding himself by other criminals who can do the dirty work for him. He hides behind a code of non-violence, while befriending explicitly violent people for use when he so pleases. It made watching the remake feel like a slap in the face. They really do take one aspect of it (that hippy “we are all leaves in the wind, go with the flow” attitude) and pop it into a trash film about a whole lotta bullshit. B+ for the original, which is only docked for being a little too cheesy at times.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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