BY THE COMMANDER
2 (out of 4 stars)
The problem with remaking a great film is that you’re set to a very high standard, which is usually very tough to beat. The original 1991 movie with Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey, was a good film with great characters whom the audience felt a connection. It's the story of a young FBI agent (Johnny Utah) who infiltrates a gang of bank robbers who are actually surfers and ends up becoming part of the gang. His struggle between his professional FBI morals and his close, personal ties with the gang becomes the focal point of this movie.
This new version pushes that limit by turning our cool surfer dudes into extreme sports athletes and the film is dominated by extreme sports scenes shot around the world. The only problem is that the producers forgot the original premise of the movie, which is the in-depth struggle between doing what's right and helping your friends. The film is overly dominated by extreme sports cinematography (which is spectacular to say the least) but that in itself doesn’t make a film—you have no connection whatsoever with the characters. While the producers rely on the plot from the original movie, they forgot to concentrate on the core of the personal struggle of Johnny Utah. In fact, the extreme sports are so overbearing in this movie, we don't even remember the names of the members of the gang during the movie, not even the female lead.
I found this movie terribly disappointing. While the cinematography is spectacular and the extreme sports stunts are way over-the-top, I feel that this film will only be embraced by those extreme sport fanatics who can never seem to get enough, watching GoPro footage on YouTube. However, as far as the movie goes, it simply crashes. While this movie is spectacular to watch in a widescreen format, I think you'll be just fine watching it at home when it comes out on your subscription television service.