Point Break (2015, Blu-ray)

Undercover FBI agent Johnny Utah infiltrates a group of extreme athletes who are using their specialized skills to pull off a series of complex crimes.

March 23, 2016 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

Shortly before I saw the Point Break remake in theaters a few months back, I chose to rewatch the original flick. I have seen the film numerous times, mainly since my sister always had a crush on Keanu Reeves. It received constant rotation on the now obsolete VHS format. I thoroughly enjoy the original flick. It’s one of those action flicks that simply has it all. From the solid acting to the thrilling and hard hitting action sequences. It might not be a classic film, but it gets the job done and has the decency to not take itself terribly seriously. So all this begs the question: Why remake it? Well, remakes are nothing new in Hollywood, and someone somewhere saw that money could be made. Little did they know the film would go largely unseen and earn terrible reviews. The question is now if the remake deserved such a fate and is it worth a darn. Read on.

The film begins with Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) riding his dirt bike with his pal Jeff (Max Thieriot). Jeff is killed during one of his stunts and this leads Utah to seek a calmer, more structured life. We flash forward seven years and he has joined the FBI. Delroy Lindo plays his instructor and he’s unsure of him at first, but eventually Johnny is undercover. His assignment is to infiltrate a group of bank robbers known for robbing then giving to the needy. Inspired by Robin Hood, much? Their method includes using extreme sports to achieve the robberies and aid in their getaways. Utah meets the leader of the gang, Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez) and he eventually warms up to him. Truthfully, if you’ve seen the original flick, then you should have an idea where the plot is headed. This remake offers little variety. Certain elements have been updated, but none improved. And that’s really the biggest offense here. It’s not that this is a terrible film, it’s just that it will always pale in the shadow of the original. The entire time I was watching this film, it just made me miss the original. We also get the neutered PG-13 rating here that limits the hard-hitting impact of the original as well. The acting here is a problem as well. Keanu Reeves and the late Patrick Swayze brought charisma to their parts, and that’s sorely missed here. All this leaves us with are the stunts. Admittedly, some are reasonably exciting, but there’s no investment in the story that the action just can’t stand on its own. Chalk this up as another disappointing and unnecessary remake.

Video: How’s it look?

Admittedly, the 2.40:1 AVC HD image put forth by Warner on this Blu-ray is incredible. The entire film plays out like a Red Bull commercial and it encompasses some amazing photography, arial shots and extreme close ups (reference to Wayne’s World not intended). You all know what I’m about to say – for a new to Blu-ray film, there really is nothing to fault with the way this looks. Vast landscapes look amazing, sharp in every corner and flesh tones seem warm and natural. Detail is incredible, the tattoo’s on Johnny Utah’s torso look very realistic. Take that and couple it with extreme spots (motocross, wing suit flying and throw in some snowboarding) and this really is a good-looking transfer.

Audio: How’s it sound?

Again, on a technical level, the DTS HD Master Audio mix delivers the goods. The surfing scenes have a punch to them that’s really hard to describe, the LFE make the crashing of the waves make you feel as if you were there. Jumping across rocks on a motorcycle or soaring through the air with a wind suit – it makes no difference as the audio really immerses the viewer in the action. Sadly I was reminded that we won’t hear Keanu Reeves’ classic line “I am and FBI agent!” Oh well. This really is an amazing track that really does make watching the film more of an experience than anything else. It’s a shame the movie wasn’t a little better, though.

Supplements: What are the extras?

DVD Extra

  • Deleted Scenes – Four total, running around 8 minutes. I have no idea why they were cut from the movie, though I don’t think it would have benefitted had they been put in there.

Blu-ray Exclusives

    • Featurettes

        Rock Climbing – The first of the four “heart-pounding” featurettes (according to the back of the box) shows the actors with some expert rock climbers for their scenes and how they achieved the look they wanted.

Wingsuit Flying – Essentially the same as above, except we’re joined by wingsuit camera flyer James Boole and wingsuit pilot Jon Devore.

Snowboarding – Again, this is the same only the “sport” has changed and the actors are accompanied by extreme snowboarders/stunt doubles Ralph Backstrom, Lucas DeBari, Mike Basich and Xavier de le Rule. Because you can’t just be a snowboarder – you’ve got to be an extreme one, right?

Motocross – Lastly we get some insight from motocross rider Steve Haughelstine as he and the crew do their preparation for the chase scenes.

  • Trailers – Two total for the film as well as one for Batman vs. Superman.

The Bottom Line

Vastly inferior to the original film, Point Break just doesn’t justify its existence. Some of the stunts are impressive, but it doesn’t offer much else. The acting is bland and the story this time just seems dull. Skip this and watch the original.

Disc Scores

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