What ‘Point Break’ lacks in charm, it makes up for in stunts

The newest Point Break is out tomorrow, and it’s really nothing like the original — which is exactly what director Ericson Core had planned for.

He said he was hesitant to take the project on because Kathryn Bigelow’s original is impossible to recreate, but decided to bring the film into 2015.

There aren’t nearly as many one-liners, nor is actor Luke Bracey as lovable/terrible as Keanu Reeves, so it lacks the charm of the original, but again, it’s an entirely different movie.

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The new incarnation follows FBI agent Johnny Utah (Bracey) as he works to solve random terrorist attacks throughout the world that are all affecting U.S. conglomerates. Utah himself was a former action-sports star who quit after a stunt he did to please sponsors went terribly wrong.

The action-packed movie has some groundbreaking stunts, but the plot seems to move along only when the characters are facing possible death, which gets a little tiring as a viewer.

Point Break

Edgar Ramirez plays Bodhi in the 2015 reincarnation of “Point Break.” He had a tough job from the start trying to fill the late Patrick Swayze’s shoes. Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Core also directed The Fast and the Furious, and at times it’s tough not to draw parallels.

However, the stunts themselves are awe-inspiring and make the movie worth a watch.

Utah is chasing down a group of criminal thrill-seekers with whom he identifies because of his time as a motocross rider. They’re trying to fulfill a spiritual quest dubbed the “Ozaki Eight” after its founder, who died before completing the eight tasks.

It’s admittedly a bit cheesy, but simultaneously acceptable due to the ridiculousness of the original — like when, in the 1991 version, Johnny Utah connects the surfers to the bank robbery because of leftover surf wax.

Édgar Ramírez plays Bodhi, who leads the crew chasing after the Ozaki Eight. He plays the role more seriously than Patrick Swayze did in 1991 and is difficult to emotionally connect with.

However, he was likely doomed from the start, since nobody can fill Swayze’s shoes.

Point Break

The stunts in the film, like the wingsuit pilot one, make up for the lack of charm. Every action-sports enthusiast can find something to relate to, whether it’s rock climbing, dirt biking or surfing. Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The second incarnation is also a lot less violent than the original, likely because there just wasn’t screen time left after all of the death-defying stunts.

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Nearly the entire cast is foreign, which, Core said, is meant to represent the global economy.

While the charm is gone, the number of pro athletes in the film is pretty astounding, including pro surfer Laird Hamilton, Pe’ahi Challenge winner Billy Kemper and waterman Mark Healey.

For other sports, snowboarder Xavier De Le Rue and wingsuit pilot Jeb Corliss lend some authority, and DJ Steve Aoki even makes a quick appearance.

The movie also is a lot more visually appealing than the original, and it’s very apparent that each stunt was extremely well coordinated.

The freediving scene, which stars Healey, is especially welcome after the nonstop fast pace of the rest of the film. While it’s a love scene, it was actually pretty dangerous to film, but the ethereal feel adds a much-needed breather to the film (no pun intended) since the lead-up is continuous testosterone-filled action.

Point Break opens nationwide Christmas Day.

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