“I thought I didn’t have vertigo until I was hanging 300 feet from the highest waterfall in the world,” confides Edgar Ramirez, recalling the stomach-churning situation as it unfurled at Angel Falls, Venezuela. “When you’re right in the moment and stepping on to the edge of the cliff and the abyss is behind you, no matter how secure and safe it all is, in my mind, I was clinging for my life.”
“Point Break”, the remake of the 1991 cult favorite action thriller, brought Ramirez (”Zero Dark Thirty,” “Carlos”), who reprises the role of onetime Patrick Swayze character Bodhi, to tears.
“I cried,” he recollects. It took a man hug from director Ericson Core (“Invincible”) to help the Venezuelan actor recover from this “very charged and intense moment.” It’s not the only bromance, either, as Ramirez explains at a junket and extended trailer screening in London.
“There’s a profound admiration between Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) and Bodhi,” acknowledges the 38-year-old, before qualifying his statement with, “There’s no sexual charge but romantic love… Friendship has a lot to do with admiration and feeling complete by what that person brings to you.”
What the movie does bring are enough manly fist-pumps, chest bumps and high-fives to rival those uber-masculine films of the late ’80s era. The new “Point Break” is loudly macho but the stunts involved in this continent-hopping picture justify it. Wingsuit flying through gorges in Switzerland, surfing tsunami-size waves in Tahiti that broke one surfer’s jaw and snowboarders taking on slopes snarling with jagged rocks are just some of the scenes that’ll give you palpitations.
With the borderline foolhardiness that the film’s pro-Extreme sports athletes (snowboarder Xavier de Le Rue, rock climber Chris Sharma and late wingsuit flyer Jhonathan Florez) flaunt on the Osaki Eight, a series of suicidal challenges that honor the force of nature, it’s surprising that Red Bull didn’t commission “Point Break.”
Indeed, you watch for the thrills, not the plot, which is frankly absurd. It sees rookie FBI agent Utah infiltrate a gang of elite athletes led by Bodhi whoares “using their skills to disrupt the international financial markets,” but not for personal gain.
That said, Ramirez, who insists that he doesn’t want to preach, is now more “conscious about the impact our actions have on the environment” and was duly “humbled by the experience of filming in places that might be gone in 30 years.”