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Point Break


Stars: Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Delroy Lindo, Ray Winstone, Tobias Santelmann, James Le Gros, Glynis Barber

Director: Ericson Core

I reckon that it would be hard, if not impossible to come up with a better description of the job of a film critic than Albert Einstein’s explanation of his celebrated theory as: “When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.”

And should you want proof, then try sitting through this redundant remake of the 1991 cult classic, the action movie that made stars of Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, and which here seemed to last several weeks.

My guess is that the likelihood of a similar career boost happening to either Luke Bracey or Edgar Ramirez who reprise those roles here is substantially much less than, say, David Walliams playing Hamlet at the National Theatre.

Former Australian television soap (Home and Away) star Bracey reprises Reeves’ role as the liberally tattooed young FBI agent who here investigates a series of exotically staged crimes by infiltrating the gang of thrill-seeking athletes who are committing them.

And Ramirez, here playing the “charismatic” leader of the crooks, is also unlikely to follow Swayze to stardom.

He’s fine in action but singularly lacks any trace of exploitable drawing power.

Brainless but frequently rousing action, rather than good acting – Ray Winstone as Bracey’s European FBI contact simply serves up standard Winstone (complete with his now regulation East Enders accent, the same one he used for Arthur which took place long before the East End even existed), is what Point Break has to offer.

The real stars are the three editors, Thom Noble, Gerald B. Greenberg, John Duffy, who make the most of the frequent thrilling, if more than just a tad ludicrous in terms of credible storytelling, stunts, committed by a slew of renowned real-life extreme athletes who endow the driveling narrative with welcome adrenaline-surging moments.

Fortunately filming in such exotic locations as Venezuela, Switzerland, Mexico, Hawaii, Tahiti, French Polynesia and Germany adds heaven-sent eye candy to distract you from the torrents of indifferent acting and writing on offer.

In fact, come to think of, if the execrable dialogue and redundant performances were removed, it's just possible that Point Break might make it as a scenery-attractive travelogue

Here, like Steven Soderbergh, Ericson Core doubles as cinematographer (excellent) and director (sadly far from excellent) to deliver an increasingly uninteresting avalanche of action continually being diluted to escalating tedium, largely because of the pallid leading performances and a back story that never quite kicks in, in trying but largely failing to explain the underlying motive behind the ridiculous Robin Hood exploits (money stolen from an aircraft in midflight rains down on Mexican peasants, something unlikely to be repeated at the box-office).

No fewer than 18 producers appear on the end credits.

Did someone mention “Too many cooks”?

Alan Frank

USA/Germany/China 2016. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers . Colour.
114 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 05 Feb 2016