Christmas Day is late to make an end run for Worst Movie of the Year laurels, but the remake of Point Break holds nothing back in making sure it was the strongest possible candidate for that dishonor. It would be hard to run down a list of all the worst-case-scenarios the film manages to fulfill, though surely not least is the thoroughness with which the movie misses all the points of Kathryn Bigelow's sleek and sweaty 1991 original. It is, as it turns out, possible to tell a version of this story in which there is no homoeroticism, not even the basic nugget of a thoroughly hetero bromance. Once you've taken that out of the equation, I have to wonder why even bother.

Not "because of the rest of the plot", for the new screenplay by Kurt Wimmer - last seen mauling an early '90s classic to death when he wrote the 2012 remake of Total Recall - doesn't care about that, either. Point Break, then as now, is about an FBI agent, Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) - his made-up YouTube name, we learn in the first of many points where the film sounds like an 80-year-old man confidently identifying what The Kids Today enjoy - who has a background in sports, which makes him a good candidate to infiltrate a group of bank robbers/extreme athletes. Which in this movie, does very much mean X-Treme, since everything that happens in the movie resembles a big budget Mountain Dew ad devised by cocaine addicts. You would not think that this plot would be very taxing, since the '91 movie devoted about twenty minutes to it and still felt more than complete, but Wimmer and first-time director Ericson Core lose the thread entirely. Multiple times, in fact.

Primarily, Point Break '15 has some notion about being a story of Johnny's seduction by the fast-paced life of beatific enlightenment-seeker Bodhi (Édgar Ramírez, the worst he's ever been), despite his certainty that Bodhi is the leader of a group of extreme athletes/robbers. Why is sure of this, given how incomprehensible the gang's modus operandi is, with the painstaking exposition completely contradicted by the subsequent plot, is quite hard to say. But he is very much correct, and the film thinks that it's about the tension between Johnny's desire to be a good cop, and his desire to let Bodhi's bullshit quest for spiritual purification through base jumping and rock climbing heal his lost soul. In practice, Ericson Core (who is not the state-of-the-art motherboard in a cell phone, but a veteran cinematographer, who shot this very film) is so busy filming the constant yacht parties and shabby-chic environs of Bodhi and co. with the most luxuriant lifestyle porn tones, that the whole movie completely forgets that there's anything resembling a moral dimension is lost for well over an hour.

In the "yes, and the portions are so small!" half of the evening, Point Break is also colossally ugly lifestyle porn, managing to make towering Alpine peaks, severely blue Mediterranean waves, and the profound greens of the Mexican jungle all look equally filthy with the ugliest digital cinematography in years (Venezuela's Angel Falls emerges with its beauty intact, because you can't be so untalented as to fuck up Angel Falls). It is a beastly film, just beastly, with paper-thin characters played badly and given awkwardly overdetermined and under-examined motivations as they parade in front of way too many piss-yellow backdrops. I had hoped for something tacky enough to be enjoyably infuriating; and I guess I got it, though this is the kind of joy only a dyed-in-the-wool masochist could ever appreciate.