By now you’ll have heard about the big screen reimagining of ”Point Break”, due to hit cinemas at the end of the year. And just what, you might be wondering, can they add to such a cool, stripped-back, no-nonsense and ballsy action movie that still stands up today a quarter century later?
Director Ericson Core, Aussie stars Luke Bracey and Teresa Palmer and a gaggle of extreme sportsmen gathered at Las Vegas CinemaCon to talk up the white-knuckle update, and Moviehole.net was there.
The assembled thrillseekers included pro surfer Laird Hamilton and wing suit pilots Jhonathan Florez, Jon Devore and Jeb Corliss, and the first question the line-up prompted in the gathering was why you need wing suit pilots for a movie about criminal surfers.
Not only is 2015’s ”Point Break” not just about surfing, the bank robbing Bodhi (”Zero Dark Thirty”’s Edgar Ramirez) and his gang are into extreme surfing, wing suit flight, snowboarding and every other high octane thrill around.
To depict them on screen, Core assembled quite a team of technical advisors, took them all over the world to do their stuff in some very extreme environments and pointed cameras at them. And as everyone present was at pains to assure us, it was all real.
“It would have been a lot easier to shoot on a green screen stage in a studio somewhere but we went to the locations because they’re part of the characters,” says Core, adding that the production shot in 10 countries.
One of the most jaw dropping visual sequences in the film is the amazing Switzerland cliff jump. There’s a place in the Churfirsten Mountains (that’s about to get a whole lot more famous) where you hurl yourself off a cliff edge, barely miss a grassy plane and find yourself in a steep gorge with rock walls and trees either side.
A team of five (four depicting characters and the cameraman) make the jump in unison in the film, and in one heart-stopping instant that might have prompted an underwear change, wingsuit pilot Devore’s foot seems to almost brush the grass before plunging into the gorge – while moving at what’s usually a couple of hundred kilometres per hour.
Core says he wanted to expand the remit of Bodhi and his gang for the new age, hence the inclusion of more sports than just surfing. “It’s something about the psyche of what it is to be an extreme athlete and do it on a grander scale,” he says. “We wanted to talk about their relationship to nature and the places they commune with the environment and wanting to protect it.”
”Point Break” is released January 1 in Australia, December 25 in the US