Film: “Point Break”; Director: Ericson Core; Cast: Luke Bracey, Edgar Ramirez, Teresa Palmer, Delroy Lindo, Ray Winstone, James Legros and Tobias Santelmann; Rating: ***
Director-cinematographer Ericson Core’s “Point Break” is inspired by Kathryn Bigelow’s cult film of the same name, starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. But unlike the 1991 release, this film with its pseudo-philosophical theme abounding in multidimensional, spell-binding action sequences and stunning cinematography is a visual delight sans logic.
The prologue, a daredevil motor-bike stunt by Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) and his best friend on the hazardous mountain path, sets the tempo of the narration. The tragic death of his friend alters “the flow” of his life.
Seven years later, Johnny is aspiring to be in the FBI. But “his resume is un-impressive”, according to his immediate senior, FBI Agent Hall (Delroy Lindo).
So, when the FBI is posed with two strange “modern-day Robin Hood style heists” that occurred in Mumbai and Mexico, accompanied by dare devil stunts, Johnny comes up with a preposterous theory.
His theory does not impress the seniors in the FBI, but his boss FBI Agent Hall, against all odds, lets him pursue the plans by saying, “identify the individuals and find the motive of their crime.”
This forms the crux of this adventure sports and crime thriller.
The action scenes cover a wide range of the extreme sports shot in mesmerising locales spread across France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Venezuela, Canada and the US. Each stunt is spectacular and marvellously picturised, but the film is let down by a weak script and poor storytelling.
Writer Kurt Wimmer’s script sports an absurdly complex and underdeveloped plot that does not comply to its own logic.
The thieves aren’t committing the crimes for their own benefit but as a tribute to ‘Mother Earth’ after they accomplish the mythical “Osaki Eight”, a series of challenges created by a dead spiritual guru.
These challenges are made up of eight extreme sports missions designed to honour the forces of nature. Complete the eight and the person is supposed to achieve nirvana (salvation).
The screenplay also lacks the build-up for a taut tension-packed climax and inter-personal chemistry.
Luke Bracey as the rookie FBI agent and the daring Johnny Utah bring warmth, charm and commitment to the role, but the latter lacks the magnetism of a super-hero.
Edgar Ramirez as Bodhi, the undisputed leader of the gang, is not only enigmatic but also charismatic. Unfortunately, his onscreen chemistry with his team members as well as with Johnny seems perfunctory. Also, there is a rugged inconsistency to his philosophy-spouting character that make him hollow.
Teresa Palmer, as the lone female in the totally male cast, has her moments of glory. As the underwritten love attention of Johnny, she evokes interest, but does not strike an emotional chord.
Delroy Lindo and Ray Winstone as FBI agents are natural and offer nothing extraordinary.
With good production values, the visuals of the film are technically flawless. The stunts supervised by Ralf Haeger and Michael Rogers, the production designs by Udo Kramer, the visual effects supervised by John Nelson, Tom Holkenborg’s music along with razor sharp editing by Thom Noble, Gerald B. Greenberg and John Duffy are all worth special mention.
Overall, “Point Break” with its adrenaline rush, is a decent film to welcome the New Year.