POINT BREAK Alternate knuckle tattoos: “FUCK” and “THIS.”

WHEN I HEARD there was going to be a remake of Point Break, I wasn't worried. "Surfers rob banks in order to obtain ultimate rush" is a timeless tale that could be updated to include any number of topical sports and financial institutions, right? Not even noted terrible writer Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium) could screw that up, right? I mean we're not exactly talking Shakespeare, right? Right?

Alas, the new Point Break doesn't indulge in fan-service so much as nostalgia strip-mining, thoughtlessly gobbling up iconic scenes from Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 original and regurgitating them into a fetid slurry of soullessly re-contextualized soundbites and empty callbacks. All your favorite hits are here, including "shooting gun in air" and "reference to former presidents," but without the structure that once made those moments work. Instead, we get long sections of almost incoherently accented exposition, punctuated by gorgeous money shots of indistinguishable men doing arbitrarily dangerous things.

Rather than philosophical dirtbag surfers in search of money and thrills, this version characterizes Bodhi (Édgar Ramírez) and his gang as eurotrash "extreme poly-athletes" who are progressing through "The Eight Ordeals," a series of super-extreme international stunt challenges. Also, they are eco-terrorists! (Presumably, this counteracts the carbon footprint involved in helicoptering up to the top of a mountain to snowboard down it.) They also kill a LOT of Italian cops, the ecological necessity of which is never explained.

What's frustrating is that not only does this Point Break not understand why the real Point Break worked, it also doesn't understand how movies in general work (or, for that matter, what the FBI is). Look, you could have given me a big dumb crime caper with some wingsuit antics, and I'd be a happy camper. But this is a goddamn garbage fire, and everybody should be ashamed.