24 years after Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze took to the waves in Kathryn Bigelow’s adrenaline-fuelled action thriller, Ericson Core revisits the story of a young FBI agent working undercover in a gang of extreme sports criminals. Thanks to co-financing from DMG Entertainment, Point Break opens in China and Hong Kong this weekend, three weeks ahead of its US debut. Featuring a number of impressive action set pieces, it could pull big numbers in the world’s second biggest film market, where the similarly-themed Fast & Furious 7 scored an unprecedented US$390 million earlier this year. However, fans of the original will mourn the lack of memorable characters, quotable dialogue and the now-legendary central bromance.
This week on Radio 3’s Morning Brew I review the remake of Point Break, set in the world of extreme sports, as well as Ron Howard’s In The Heart Of The Sea, recounting the story that inspired Moby Dick, and local crime thriller Port Of Call, starring Aaron Kwok.
Darren Aronofsky’s old testament odyssey might just be the battiest biblical epic ever committed to screen. Bold, beautiful, yet most definitely preposterous, it somehow manages to succeed as a brilliant examination of one man wrestling with his faith. I kinda loved it, with giant rock monster-sized reservations.
In the world of hardboiled TV police dramas, few shows have been as successful or influential as the hit 70s British production, The Sweeney. Although four years seems like a modest run, by today’s terms, The Sweeney was a huge success, changing audience expectations in the last days of pre-Thatcher England.
This film adaptation, seeks to take elements of the TV show, the gruff attitudes, fast paced action and less than ethical approaches to policing and bring them up to date in modern, shiny London. Ray Winstone in the iconic role of DI Jack Regan, with Hayley Atwell, Ben Drew as his closest subordinates. Damian Lewis is in charge Regan’s department (The Sweeney is rhyming slang, Sweeney Todd = Flying Squad) Steven Mackintosh as Regan’s nemesis, internal investigator DCI Ivan Lewis.
And, everything starts well, with a dramatic robbery, and sharp-paced introduction to the crime-fighting team. From there, the film suffers from trying to do too much. The crime-solving is slowed down by an internal investigation that is not given enough time to simmer and by the time the film tries to become a revenge the plot twists outweigh the story development. It feels more like the arc of a TV series compressed into a less than coherent movie narrative.
Film-goers who are into police investigation dramas, or fans of the original series want to see a modern homage may well be moderately entertained. But, given the source material and the cast, this film ought to have been a more thrilling and rewarding experience.
My March entry in Twitch’s Full Disclosure feature is Franc Roddam’s big screen adaptation of The Who’s classic album. Phil Daniels plays a pill-popping young Mod, who tires of his life chasing birds and bombing around on his Lambretta scooter, but doesn’t know which way to turn – especially when all roads lead to a violent clash with the Rockers on Brighton beach. To find out what I thought, you’ll have to check out Twitchfilm.com at the end of the month.