Point Break: 2016 incarnation should be retitled Pointless Break
Buff male characters shot lingering glances at each other dressed in tight-fitting wet suits, performed daredevil feats of one-upmanship and famously described Reeves’ pretty boy thrill-seeker as young, dumb and full of one particular bodily fluid.
Director Kathryn Bigelow, who won an Academy Award for The Hurt Locker almost 20 years later, embraced the preposterousness of the set-up and charted an undeniably entertaining path through the water-drenched madness.
Ericson Core’s muscle-flexing remake seeks the same extreme sports nirvana, but falls desperately short.
The philosophical mumbo jumbo of the original film has been elevated to ludicrous new heights by screenwriter Kurt Wimmer, while action sequences rely too heavily on digital trickery to dazzle.
Crucially, the central relationship between the reckless cop and the sensei-like leader of the robbers lacks tantalizing moral ambiguities or shifts in the balance of power.
Sad to say, the 2016 incarnation should be retitled Pointless Break.
The film opens with Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) and best friend Jeff (Max Thieriot) filming a motorcycle ride along a hilltop for their online fan base.
A leap across a chasm onto a needle of rock culminates in tragedy and Johnny retires from the scene.
Seven years later, he reemerges as a rookie FBI agent, desperate to prove his worth to Instructor Hall (Delroy Lindo).
Johnny gets his chance when he realises that a four-strong team of extreme sports fanatics are committing crimes in order to complete the fabled eight ordeals of Ono Ozaki, an environmentalist and athlete, who believed in harnessing the planet’s natural forces to find the path to enlightenment.
Hall despatches Johnny to France in the company of British agent Pappas (Ray Winstone) to identify suspects among the big wave surfers.
By chance, Johnny rides a monstrous tube of water with gang leader Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez) and is welcomed into the fold by accomplices Roach (Clemens Schick), Chowder (Tobias Santelmann) and Grommet (Matias Varela).
They invite Johnny to shrug off past mistakes and seek pure adrenaline rushes around the world.
“We can only have responsibility for our own path,” counsels Bodhi. “Let others have theirs.”
Point Break is a shadow of its former self, lacking all of the swaggering charm that allowed us to overlook the gaping plot holes and leaps in logic.
Ramirez smoulders alone, Bracey is a bland hero and his romantic subplot an Australian daredevil (Teresa Palmer) is a fruitless diversion.
Director Core enlists some of the best athletes and stuntmen to enliven his action set pieces.
Alas, even their impressive feats of strength and nerve-racking endurance can’t save the film from a spectacular wipeout.