The “Point Break” Remake Broke My Soul

WOW. That was BAD.

Listen, I haven’t written a movie review since 2009. You know why? Because my taste in movies could best be described as “omnivorous.” I like everything. Sure, I can (usually) tell the difference between a good movie and a bad one, as most of society judges that… I just don’t care. I like what I like, and what I like is close to approaching everything. Basically, I am a story junkie.

But there are some sins even I can’t forgive.

The original “Point Break” is not one of the best films of all time. It’s not going to change your life, open your mind to a world you didn’t know existed, or pick up your dry cleaning. But it is good, and memorable. It rises above itself, for three reasons that I can see:

The actions scenes are visceral and thrilling…

I’m not sure how the remake managed to make a movie filled with extreme surfing, snowboarding, motocross, base jumping, fighting, shootouts, car chases and more boring… but they did. I really hope I’m not developing “taste” all of a sudden, but every single action scene in this turd was just boooring. Yawn-inducing. Inconceivably mundane. I only expect one thing from an action movie — action (engaging characters and an interesting plot are just gravy). This didn’t even have that. Total snooze-fest. (The rock climbing scene near the end almost sprouted something, but by that point I was too dead inside to care.)

It’s actually trying to say something…

I don’t enjoy preachy movies that hit you over the head with some kind of ham-fisted message (unless they also have other things that I do enjoy). But if the action movie is going to epicly fail at action, then it can at least try to say something. Move me with its point of view, teach me something I didn’t know, speak to me!

Technically, this movie does think it has a message. But it’s just some generic and safe swill about “follow your own path” (I think — hard to tell, it was delivered so badly). Not a bad message, really, but it was executed so poorly and haphazardly it had all the weight of reading a greeting card.

And, it has a lot of heart.

This is the most egregious offense of the “Point Break” remake by far. There is just no emotional center, nothing, zero. I don’t care about a single character, I don’t care about what they’re doing, I don’t care when they get hurt or when they die or when they get betrayed… I just don’t care. At all. I can get moved by a decent TV commercial — I’m an emotional lamprey, and will easily latch on to the tiniest sliver of empathic emotion. This film was dead, a vacuous black hole of nothingness.

I didn’t expect this thing to be great. But I really didn’t think it would be so awful I wanted to put a screwdriver through my monitor, cancel my Amazon account for being tainted, and live out my remaining years alone as a yak herder.

In the original movie, I can feel Johnny Utah’s conflicted emotions. His slow acceptance into Bodhi’s group feels organic, it makes sense. All of the characters feel like real people, with real drives and feelings and flaws. This remake is just the rotting carcass of that, hollow and fetid. It’s like a pantomime of a much better tale, just a shadow on the wall.

My rating? Total stinker. Avoid at all costs. (Unless, you know, you’ve seen it and liked it. I can’t fathom it, but I know you’re out there!)

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