Reviewed by: Curtis McParland
participating in extremely perilous activity—risking death or severe injury—just for fun
How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer
How can I decide whether a particular activity is wrong? Answer
crime / stealing
Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer
What is man’s responsibility to the environment? Answer
|Featuring:||Luke Bracey … Johnny Utah
Édgar Ramírez … Bodhi
Max Thieriot … Jeff
Ray Winstone … Angelo Pappas
Teresa Palmer … Samsara
Tobias Santelmann … Chowder
James Le Gros … FBI agent
Delroy Lindo … FBI Instructor
Bojesse Christopher … FBI Director Chapman
Clemens Schick … Roach
After a tragic accident that cost Johnny Utah’s (Luke Bracey) best friend’s life, he now wants to get away from the extreme sports world that he once loved. As the story flashes forward seven years later, Johnny is now a candidate for the FBI and becomes involved in the investigation of various heists. However, these aren’t any ordinary heists. Great sums of money do not appear to be stolen by the thieves, nor is there any serious damage done. That is… not yet.
Johnny begins to put pieces together and comes to the conclusion that these bandits are not after Earthly wealth, but spiritual wealth. This group wants to honor the forces of nature through extreme acts such as parachuting, skydiving, etc. But they are still committing a crime, and Johnny is recruited to find this spiritual group and bring justice to their strange ordeals.
Never having seen the original, the remake of “Point Break” definitely caught me off guard. That is, I did not expect this film to be a crime film where the criminals were on a spiritual journey. It is a unique concept (certainly different), but the films lacks a strong script and direction. The dialog is weak, clichéd, and even somewhat laughable, at times. The action sequences really save this film, as they are very well shot and add plenty of suspense to the overall weak story. The acting is better than average, but Ericson Core’s weak direction made this film a bit of a mess, or should I say a wipeout? Surprisingly, the 3D is solid, as water leaps out of the screen, and I felt a bit of a flying sensation during the perilous flying sequences. Overall, this film is not as bad as many have said, but it certainly could have been better. Especially when it comes to good, coherent storytelling.
“Point Break” certainly has its content issues, as it is scattered with some sexual content, language, brief drug content, and contains a lot of perilous action violence. There is not a lot of sexual content in “Point Break,” but there is quite a bit of skin on display, as numerous partygoers are seen wearing (sometimes scanty) swimwear. The camera tends to ogle a good handful of women. Men are seen shirtless on a number of occasions, as well. A couple shares a few kisses, takes a sensual swim together (no nudity), and are seen in the beginning stages of sex as they begin to disrobe, kiss passionately, and intertwine (no nudity). A few surveillance photos pop up (again, no nudity) of their act later on.
The language is a bit strong, as there is an f-word, about 16 s-words, and around a half-dozen or so combined uses of milder profanities like a**, h*ll, b**ch, scr*w, p*ss, and d**n. The crudity b*lls is interjected once, as well. God’s name is abused once or twice, and thieves give a security camera the middle finger on a few separate occasions.
The violence is intense and perilous, but mostly bloodless. The bloodiest the violence gets is when two realistic fist fights break out. Characters get scarred up and get some bloody bruises. There is also a gun fight with some blood. Characters fall to their death a couple of times, as well. The camera cuts away before any impact is seen. A surfer nearly drowns after taking on a huge wave, a couple guys go flying over a waterfall, an intense gunfight breaks out, and there’s a car/truck-jacking scene with an explosion. It results in a big life-threatening rock slide. There’s a pretty high body count in this film.
Other crazy action sequences include perilous snowboarding, base jumping, mountain climbing, surfing, and wingsuit flying. People throw a house party after what appears to be a funeral. This may be unsettling for some viewers. Cigarettes are smoked on a frequent basis, and, in one scene, two characters appear to be sharing marijuana. Beer, wine, and other mixed drinks are consumed, mainly at parties. Speaking of partying. There are quite a few prolonged party scenes in “Point Break.” A crude reference is made to urination.
As I mentioned, “Point Break” is almost just as much of a spiritual journey as it is a crazy action film. But this spiritual journey is not one that audiences should be willing to take. My first impression of this group’s spiritual endeavors was that of New Ageism. This group of extreme human beings is not looking for fame or fortune. They just want to give back to the Earth what was taken away from it. In other words, they don’t see the crimes they commit as crimes, but as an act of sacrifice to the Earth. These characters are in search of some form of enlightenment—an extreme form of enlightenment that will more or less lead them to a happy after-life. This philosophy is flawed due to the fact that their missions are pretty much suicidal. Yet they are meant to be seen as a sacrifice.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” —1 John 4:1 (ESV)
As followers of Christ, we called to make ourselves a living sacrifice. Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” The characters in “Point Break” may be willing to sacrifice their lives (more or less), but for what? God? No. Others? No. They are willing to sacrifice their lives for the Earth. Their false god.
Also, these characters do not appear to have any idea of what awaits them in the afterlife nor why they have to perform these specific tasks. They only do it because the Ozaki 8 (their list of extreme ordeals to honor the forces of nature) tells them to.
“I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me… —Isaiah 45:5
Obviously, the message “Point Break” sends is quite problematic. However, the film does not necessarily condone the acts this group partakes in nor glorifies this New Age belief they follow. Our “hero” Johnny, though, does appear to want to learn more about the “religion” this group follows and they do make a lasting impact on his life. But near film’s end, Johnny does appear to be slightly confused about the direction this group took in order to “give back to the Earth”. They may have left a lasting impression on Johnny, but the entire FBI believes the entire group to be crazed. Not only is Johnny left somewhat lost and confused, but the audience may be as well. This film certainly brings up some solid questions about spirituality and the afterlife, but it also asks the question if this extreme group was actually offering sacrifices or literally being willing to throw their lives away. In other words, suicide.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own…” —1 Corinthians 6:19
All in all, I recommend that all audiences keep away from “Point Break.” It may provide some fun thrills and exhilarating action, but with the sexual content, language, and very problematic spiritual messages, this is a film that any follower of Christ should take a pass on. Hollywood tends to send out subtle, negative spiritual messages in their films, from time to time, but Point Break’s spiritual message is much more clear. The message may not be condoned, but neither is it condemned. In the end, questions will be raised, audiences may think more deeply about spirituality, and others may become even more interested in the New Age movement. “Point Break” may appear to be just another ordinary action film, but it appears to be more of an action film with an agenda, than anything else.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 4:7
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate to heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate to heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…It takes a very special director to make scenes of sky-diving, free climbing, big-wave surfing and BASE jumping something to yawn at. Yet Ericson Core must be that kind of miracle worker…
—Stephanie Merry The Washington Post
…can’t keep the increasingly silly script in check…
—Steve Davis, The Austin Chronicle
…a visual dazzler and a dramatic non-starter. …what weighs the characters down is not their parachutes or rock-climbing gear, but their sententious First World guilt and bland casting; gone is the free-spirited fun of Kathryn Bigelow’s cult-hit original. …
—Maggie Lee, Variety
…overloaded with pagan, politically correct, anti-capitalist environmentalism… the gang leader’s pagan ideology, which includes talking about the Earth and nature as if they’re living beings, is seen as admirable. …
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…A thrill ride in need of a few more thrills. …In overcomplicating the bandits’ motives, the film sets itself up for a fall. …Technical specs are polished across the board.
—Elizabeth Kerr, The Hollywood Reporter