|UK Release Date||5th February 2016|
|Starring||Swayze's Tortured Ghost|
|Reviewed||20th February 2016|
One question kept floating to the front of my mind as I sat through this screening. Which is the bigger movie crime; Being loathsomely unfunny and offensive, or being utterly boring. It’s a genuine question and I’m really not sure of the answer. Is it better to sit through a movie and hate it so much you want to smack everybody involved before demanding they pay you personally the eleven quid you just spent or is it better to gradually slide off you seat as the bleak spectre of eternal ennui envelopes you.
I raise this question having just sat through Point Break. I wasn’t expecting this to be any good, it’s been out a while and I’ve seen the Rotten Tomato rating, but I genuinely wasn’t expecting it to be this morose. The original of course was a masterpiece in its own right. Patrick Swayze channeled just the right amount of new age mumbo-jumbo but ultimately his Bodhi was just a narcissistic, adrenaline fuelled bank robber. And Keanu Reeves, in the role that would launch him as an action star, was just dumb enough and clean enough to convince as a surfer dude and an FBI agent. Plus, Gary Busey’s teeth shone and Lori Petty (where are you now? Surely Hollywood has got over Tank Girl?) played a woman with an actual character.
Fast forward twenty five years (if that doesn’t make you feel old…) and here is the reboot that not a single person on the planet was looking for. Luke Bracey (er… Home and Away) picks up the Utah role, Utah now being a nickname, rather than his actual brilliant name. Utah is an extreme sports star who earns money by putting his antics out on Youtube. Sadly, this goes hilariously wrong when his mate, encouraged by Utah, follows him through a stunt that involves jumping over a canyon to a rock outcrop. I say ‘hilariously’ - you remember that bit at the start of Cliffhanger where Sly drops the climber? Yeah? I also found that funny. Anyway, after dropping his mate over the side, Utah enlists in a montage. Seven years later, he’s in the FBI training programme, attempting to persuade Delroy Lindo’s John C. McGinley that he is a serious prospect for the FBI proper.
Whilst all this is happening, a gang of bank robbers rip off an aeroplane full of cash and disappear into a big cave. The cash is disbursed in spectacular fashion to the poor locals of some backwater country or other and somehow this leads Utah to conclude that these guys are also extreme sports people, attempting to follow some zen nonsense to complete a bunch of challenges. Somehow the robbery fits into this so they can give back to the planet. Ray Winstone is rolled out in the Busey role to drive Utah around and not get killed. Edgar Ramirez fills the Bodhi role and looks moody whilst spouting rubbish and Teresa Palmer fills what is apparently acceptable as the Lori Petty role these days.
All of which amounts to the square route of utterly nothing as extreme stunt after extreme stunt is bookended by boring speeches about how the planet needs to be repaid for whatever and blah blah blah. The movie if fucked right from the decision that led to Utah being a nickname. Right there, the filmmakers signified their inability to go big on anything and, astonishingly given the stunts on display, play it safe safe safe the whole way through.
The movie's philosophy is horrendously muddled, the crimes largely incidental and the characters completely inconsequential. The movie’s only defence for its total sidelining of any female presence is Bracey constantly taking his top off for no reason to display his huge, bulging tattoos. Which, to be fair, he is very good at. That kind of post t-shirt removal hair flick is not a skill to be maligned. But when that is the entirety of the entertainment on offer, surely even the most excitable teenager is going to get bored eventually.
For the best part of two hours, Bracey trails around the globe, jumping off high things, surfing big things and watching as nature / stupidity gradually clips the rest of Bodhi's gang. Which begs the question why the FBI bothered chasing them in the first place. Why spend money gunning somebody down when there is a massive chance that a mountain will do the dirty work for you.
Pointless Break is a gargantuan waste of your time. The direction is clueless, the script dull, the characters transparent, the plot absent and the action stultifying. The movie’s only justification for existence is as a case study for the question I raised at the start of this review. For my money, there is no greater movie crime than boredom. Especially boredom aspiring to convey some sort of deep philosophical meaning, whilst throwing actors off a cliff on a snowboard. Screw the lot of them, the earth will swallow this movie and let us never speak of it again.