Point Break 3D has been inspired by Kathryn Bigelow's Point Break (1991) starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. Instead of a cop infiltrating a gang of ex-President mask wearing surfers in one locale, we're entrenched in a globe-trotting game of extreme sports as a would-be Robin Hood and his daredevil team attempt to do the near-impossible. While it starts as a tribute, essentially picking up where the original left off, everything's been supersized with monumental feats.
This re-imagining is a shameless 3D spectacle, delivering cool footage of big wave surfing, wingsuit flying, motorsport, rock climbing and skiing. This seems to be the main attraction with echoes of the original in the loose bromance at play between Luke Bracey and Edgar Ramirez. It's as if this Point Break has low self-esteem, self-realising its own remake destiny and leaning on the visuals and movie title rather than the characters and story. The concept has promise and links the sports quite naturally with some sharp visual effects wizardry, but would've been much more entertaining as a straight documentary.
Bracey is a good-looking, action-ready lead actor, but the film is so quick-paced that you get the impression he's just there to look the part rather than draw us into his world like Keanu Reeves did. Ramirez is a rugged "Camel man" adventurer and essentially Ben Stiller's evil twin in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Bracey and Ramirez have got some synergy, but it pales in comparison with the original. Instead of challenging each other with iron sharpening iron, it's a case of anything you can do, I can do in a ying-yang equation.
"Move over Money Train..."
It starts with great promise as the set up brings the hero and anti-hero together, but after a couple of near-death events, you realise it's not going to go any deeper. The characters seem lost in the concept's tide as they get carried forth, reflecting the original loosely and making sure everything looks cool. From a Fight Club contrast to tracking the team down like Carmen Sandiago, the characters stagnate as the epic visuals keep our eyes busy. Even Ray Winstone isn't able to anchor the film, other than grumble a few lines as a tough love handler.
Point Break 3D is jet fuel at its most extreme moments, but it's all style over substance. The superficial bromance is an afterthought and while it has an intriguing spiritual dimension, it's not fully exploited. We don't feel the co-lead connection that Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze had and instead of drilling down, the story almost goes into fast-forward in the third act. Our hero doesn't even seem to have time to think or feel the gravity of his actions and it becomes rather dithery as it devolves into x-game porn.
The bottom line: Zippy
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