Charisma-vacuum Luke Bracey does his Chris-Hemsworth-as-gawpy look as FBI Agent Johnny Utah (originally played by Keanu Reeves) as he looks to take down a gang of baddies who (for one slight deviation from the original) do NOT call themselves The Ex-Presidents. In fact, I don’t think they ever had a name, but they are basically Robin Hood robbers, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Led by Bodhi (Edgar Ramírez, in a role first portrayed by the late Patrick Swayze), the original movie saw them as a bunch of pot-smoking and boozing surfers. In this one, they surf (while living clean) and also take part in every type of extreme sport known to man, hence why they’re trying to complete the Ozaki Eight, an octet of live-or-die high-octane challenges for complete and utter dickheads with a death wish.
Talking of which, Utah is also an extreme sports bonehead, as shown in a pre-credits sequence where him and a friend are riding their bikes across perilous peaks, like something out of Trials Fusion. And like that game, one of them is going to overplay their hand and fall to their death. Which one do you think it’ll be?
Utah must infiltrate their gang in order to, seemingly, have a tattoo-off, given how much ridiculous junk is scrawled all over both of their bodies.
Ray Winstone softens his Cockney accent a tad as the former Gary Busey character, Pappas. Just Pappas. No Angelo. We don’t get his first name here. It’s probably “Cor, blimey!”
This film was a handful of preposterous, part-CGI action scenes separated by a lot of pondering by the pontificating, mumbling Ramirez about the aforementioned Ozaki Eight and ‘giving back to the Earth what was taken from it’, along with his meatheaded, big-bearded friends. He’s explaining why they’re doing these dangerous stunts, but whatever he waffled went straight over my head.
In fact, the 15 minutes of end credits were one of the highlights of the time spent while the disc spun round.
There’s one decent stunt – the “riding a motorbike away from an avalanche” scene was quite amusing, though. And, well, the one involving Utah jumping onto a moving cable car is slightly more realistic than Bond messing about on one in A View To A Kill back in 1985. Oh, and PC Danny Butterman from Hot Fuzz will be pleased there’s a repeat of Bodhi getting away, leaving Utah to scream and shoot into the sky. However, Winstone proves that, like with 2010’s Edge of Darkness and 2012’s The Sweeney, he’s not adverse to appearing in godawful remakes, and this one also has a poor script with a complete lack of humour and dull lines like “You’re saying I’m gonna die?”, replied to with “We’re all gonna die. The only question is how”. Zzz… was this script written by an Eliza program?
There’s also an obligatory fight between the two leads when you know it’s just a 12-certificate equivalent of a homoerotic scene where the two men would get all ‘Brokeback Mountain‘.
One other question – how come the footage that the FBI has showing the baddies getting up to their nefarious deeds is akin to that you’d expect of a Hollywood director trying to be fancy with multiple aerial drones? Surely it was shot by other people and on crappy mobile phones?
Overall, this movie just can’t reach any of the steps towards the original’s dizzy heights and, thus… Point Break? Pointless Break!
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and in anamorphic widescreen, and while I’m more used to Blu-rays these days, I still see the occasional DVD and this one looks softer than the average. So, not the greatest picture.
The sound is in DTS 5.1 and there’s no issues, but while there’s sound all around, there’s nothing that particularly stands out in the way of split-surround sound.
As for extras, I was hoping to review this on Blu-ray, but only a DVD was available. I still had to watch it to tick off another remake, but on DVD there’s not much to get all ‘Big Wednesday’ about with the extras – just eight minutes of Deleted Scenes. The Blu-ray also includes four 2-minute featurettes (Rock Climbing, Wingsuit Flying, Snowboarding, Motocross) and some trailers, but don’t ‘point break’ the bank (ho, ho, ho) to pay an extra fiver for the Blu-ray just for those.
There’s also a 3D Blu-ray, but the flim wasn’t originally shot in 3D, so save your pennies.
The main menu features a still of the two leads plus a short piece of the score, there are a bog-standard 12 chapters to the film (I prefer one every 5 minutes, but the last 15 minutes are all credits, so that’s around 20, here)
The dialogue has options for English and Russian, plus subtitles for the same.
Running time: 109 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
Released: June 13th 2016
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English, Russian
Subtitles: English, Russian
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (ARRIRAW (2.8K), Redcode RAW (6K))
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Ericson Core
Producers: John Baldecchi, Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove and Christopher Taylor
Screenplay: Kurt Wimmer (based on a story by Rick King, W Peter Iliff and Kurt Wimmer)
Music: Junkie XL
Johnny Utah: Luke Bracey
Bodhi: Édgar Ramírez
Pappas: Ray Winstone
Samsara: Teresa Palmer
Grommet: Matias Varela
Roach: Clemens Schick
Chowder: Tobias Santelmann
Jeff: Max Thieriot
Instructor Hall: Delroy Lindo
Pascal Al Fariq: Nikolai Kinski
FBI – Head of Investigations: Glynis Barber
FBI Dept. Director #1: Steve Toussaint
FBI Dept. Director #2: James LeGros
FBI Dept. Director #3: Bojesse Christopher
FBI Technician: Ronak Patani
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.