First Hit: A couple great visuals do not make a film worth watching.
The two major surfing scenes were great (the waves not the acting in and around them being found and surfed) as was the wingsuit flight the actors take in the alps. Outside of these scenes, this film is poorly constructed with a dull tired script and tries to entice people with action.
But as George Lucas stated in a recent interview with Charlie Rose; you cannot make a good film by doing cool things and build a story around it.
A good film has a great story as its underpinnings and the cool things are only there to help tell the story. This film is full of cool things these guys do while attempting to complete the Osaki 8 which is suppose to be a way to reach enlightenment. Through this back ass wards way we are supposed to be tempted into being interested in a story about fighting crime.
The other part of the Osaki 8 is to create balance with the earth by giving back to it what was taken from it. What makes it even worse is that the latter part (balance) is a stupid premise because to do what they do, they will (and do) hurt others in the process, which cannot create balance.
The film tries to convince you that balance will be achieved by spilling a billion dollars floating down to earth in the Mexican jungle. If this last sentence is confusing – then go waste your time and see this film to understand what I mean. But don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. The Osaki 8 are challenges like: Emerging Force, Birth of Sky, Awakening Earth, etc.. These innocuous terms have been interpreted by the group to mean do something with enlightenment.
Like Birth of Sky was jumping from a plane and diving into the deepest hole in the earth while the balance comes from pushing a billion dollars out of the same plane they jumped from and letting all the money flutter to the ground. Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) once a renegade risk taker knows about this legend of the 8. But because of a risk he took with his best friend years before, he ends up working for the FBI. He’s given a mission to find out who robbed a slew of diamonds and gave them away and who dumped all the money from the plane.
The way the events take place leads Utah to believe it is being done by a group of guys trying to complete the Osaki 8. He infiltrates the group by risking a ride on 60 foot waves (Life of Water). The group thinks he may be up doing the 8 with them to it so they indoctrinate him into the group.
Through the group’s leader Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez), Utah meets Samsara (Teresa Palmer) Osaki’s widowed partner. If you haven’t noticed the references to spirituality; the writers used character names that are spiritual based. “Samsara” and “Bodhi” are both Sanskrit. Samsara is Sanskrit for the struggle and cycle of life and death (reincarnation) while Bodhi means understanding and enlightenment.
Then the writers used "Osaka 8” which is very analogous to Buddha’s 8-fold path to enlightenment term. Give me a break – this was a waste of time.
Bracey is a good looking young man and in this film that is about all he brought. Ramirez overacted as someone who drank too much of the Osaki Kool-Aid. Palmer was cute and flighty enough to be an embodiment of Samsara. Kurt Wimmer wrote a mindless screenplay and Ericson Core gets some kudos for some great action shots but that’s all.
Overall: It is very sad that this film got made, except that the waves were really cool.