Point Break review: Adrenaline flunkies defying gravity and logic

Relentless action cannot dispel the toxic levels of claptrap that stink up this po-faced, slow-witted remake

Point Break
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Director: Ericson Core
Cert: 12A
Genre: Action
Starring: Édgar Ramírez, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Delroy Lindo, Ray Winstone
Running Time: 1 hr 53 mins

Even back in the day, Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 actioner Point Break – in which Keanu Reeves's quarterback turned FBI agent turned expert longboarder investigated Patrick Swayze's champion surfer turned zen master turned bank robber – was plenty preposterous. But dumb can be fun, right?

Sadly, this remake or reboot or whatever they're calling it, is rather short on fun. Taking cues from Swayze's fortune-cookie banter, Ericson Core's Point Break spins an elaborate mythology from our planet's most daring and dangerous extreme sports. Our mistake. X-Treme sports.

Thus, polyathlete turned FBI op Johnny Utah (Home and Away's Luke Bracey) is boning up on a gang of Robin Hood- styled environmentalists when he realises that these daredevils are attempting the "Osaki 8", a series of ludicrously dangerous outdoor pursuits that are spoken about in hushed tones and unadulterated codology.

"We're giving back to the earth," says gang leader Bohdi (Édgar Ramírez) as he throws himself off various cliffs and whatnot. Soon enough, undercover Johnny and Bohdi are besties while French-based cop (?) Ray Winstone is fretting that the younger law enforcer is in too deep. A risible lady love-interest played by Teresa Palmer adds to the already toxic levels of claptrap by telling the young hero to "be in the moment". Ad nauseum.


Bravo to the second and third units and to the stuntmen and women who do the basejumping, surfing, free rock climbing and snowboarding required by the film’s half- baked eco-challenge list. These death-defying folks deserve better than this po-faced, slow- witted film, a project that can’t muster anything like drama or dialogue between set-pieces.

Who needs logic when you can have unexplained boat-loads of bikini girls and unexplained ski lodges peopled by bikini girls? Who needs culture when you can have bro-culture?

We were expecting dumb. But dumb can do better.

Tara Brady

Tara Brady

Tara Brady, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a writer and film critic