If you thought, like pretty much everybody else, that this Ericson Core remake of the classic Keanu Reeves starring Point Break was entirely superfluous beforehand, you just wait to see how you feel afterwards. Any such apprehensions and doubts are swiftly, and uncomfortably, confirmed – as this title brings very little new to the world, and pales in comparison to the accomplished, 1991 endeavour.
Luke Bracey takes on the role that once belonged to Reeves, of daredevil turned FBI agent Johnny Utah. Giving up on a life dedicated to extreme sports, his first challenge as an agent is fittingly connected to his former vocation, as he seeks in tracking down and infiltrating a group of renegade law breakers, determined to complete an ambitious set of eight near-impossible stunts – which double up as unprecedented corporate heists. The ringleader is Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez), who Utah is incensed on befriending, all the while keeping his true identity under wraps. In the meantime, fellow agent Pappas (Ray Winstone) keeps a close eye on proceedings.
Though the stunts are breathtaking at times, they feel contrived in parts, without any sense of linearity or narrative purpose, making for a repetitive, tedious picture. The dialogue is clichéd too, and given the host of lacklustre performances, it’s not exactly a screenplay that has been brought to life either. On a more positive note, the blurring of lines between good and evil is intriguing, as despite the fact the traditional tropes we associate with cinematic antagonists decorate these roles, the ‘villains’ are by no means gratuitously violent, instead committing crimes with what they perceive to be a purpose. However like with Everest, for example, we don’t get any real sense for why these men live this life, why they dance with death in such a frivolous manner. Core merely scratches on the surface but doesn’t get any further. But then, depth and nuance are hardly this film’s selling point.
In that regard, much can be squarely put down to Bracey, who struggles to lead this picture, epitomising the film’s focus on action and it’s disregard for emotionality. Thankfully Ramirez’s turn works as something of a saving grace, with a playful edge to his demeanour, combined with an intensity which allows us to take him seriously as an antagonist. It’s not, however, enough of a saving grace to make this a worthwhile trip to the pictures. You’d be better off just watching the original, but then you knew that already.