One issue still plaguing the film industry remains the need for studios to remake classic properties. Movies with some form of brand recognition get repackaged for a new generation – often with modified bells and whistles meant to attract a different crowd. So it’s not enough to remake Point Break using extreme sports as the backdrop. It also has to be released in 3D.
This isn’t a review of the new Point Break. This is a breakdown of the use of 3D in Ericson Core’s new crime thriller. We’ll go over key categories that are essential to your 3D enjoyment, to make sure that you pay for the right ticket if and when you choose to see Point Break. Now, go grab me two meatball subs, and let’s dive in.
The premise behind the new Point Break is that fledgling FBI agent Johnny (Luke Bracey) is infiltrating a band of thieves who are trying to complete a series of death-defying extreme-sports stunts. With that in mind, each new stunt (involving skydiving, skiing, motorcross and the like) should open the door to new and clever uses of 3D. The "Fit" on Point Break is solid.
Planning & Effort Score
That being said, even though the filmmakers left themselves open to several opportunities to properly use 3D in their stunt sequences, Point Break drops the ball on half of the action scenes. There are times when the movie is filming on the side of a mountain, and the cameras position beautifully to help the ridge stand out in 3D. But there are underwater and nighttime scenes (more on those in a minute) that do nothing with the technology, which disappoints.
Before the Window Score
Early on in Point Break, during a motorcycle scene that goes a long way toward setting up Johnny’s backstory, dirt from a bike’s tire rips off the wheel and into our lap, and I thought, "Yes! At least Point Break is going to be one of those reach-out-and-touch 3D movies!" Sadly, that’s the only time I can remember something breaking through the screen and occupying the space before the window.
Beyond the Window Score
Here, too, there’s nothing spectacular that stands out, and for this, I’m going to blame director Ericson Core, who also serves as the movie’s cinematographer and chooses to shoot Point Break in a dim, grey-and-green tint that does nothing to emphasize the beauty of some of the movie’s locations. 3D movies that have breathtaking depth beyond the window invite you to step through the screen and explore their worlds. One scene involving the tube of a massive wave made good use of the Beyond the Window palete, but outside of that? Not much.
Even if you were still on the fence about paying to see Point Break in 3D, this is the category that will send you in a different direction. By design, 75% of Point Break takes place in the dark. Nighttime scenes in bars and clubs are plunged in shadow. The FBI offices are dark corridors lit mainly by computer screens. Even the daytime scenes, as mentioned, have a burnt look to them that suggests shadow (or a distinct lack of color). When you put 3D glasses on? It makes it so much worse. The Brightness Score for Point Break needs to be low.
Glasses Off Score
There’s a minimal amount of blur around the images in Point Break when you remove your glasses, suggesting the amount of 3D that exists in the frame. During conversations, you can remove your glasses and actually watch the movie as you would a normal 2D film (even though you paid for a 3D ticket). During the action scenes, the blur increases… though the 3D doesn’t necessarily improve those sequences.
Audience Health Score
Point Break mostly is a smooth experience, from the chair of someone watching it in 3D, though one or two sequences became so choppy I either removed my glasses or looked away from the screen. One was a snowboarding scene that cut from rider to rider with abandon. The other was a rave scene in a pitch-dark dance club that probably would have been unwatchable in ANY format, but looked particularly blurry and ugly in 3D.
3D SCORES RECAP
P & E
Before The Window
Beyond The Window
Glasses Off Test
Final Verdict: As you can guess, I don’t recommend that you see Point Break in 3D. Which is disappointing, because one way that the 2015 remake of the classic action film could have distanced itself from its predecessor would be to introduce 3D in creative ways and apply it to the various extreme-action set pieces sprinkled throughout the film. Instead, 3D seems to be an afterthought on this remake, which means it’s not worth your time.
This poll is no longer available.
Click to visit our full To 3D Or Not To 3D Archive.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.