The wingsuit scene that takes place early in the film, was all choreographed and flown in real life. Taking place at "the crack" in Walenstadt, Switzerland, the sequence is edited together of multiple jumps, all flown by some of the best wingsuit pilots in the world: Jon DeVore, Michael Swanson, Julian Boulle & Noah Banson were doing the formations flying, while Jhonathan Florez & James Boole were flying just next to them as camera-guys. (this sequence was supervised by Jeb Corliss) The crew spent a period of 3½ weeks in Switzerland, and the wingsuit pilots did the jump more than 60 times to get the right shots.
While shooting second unit footage at the Jaws surf break in Maui, the crew was fortunate enough to catch one of the largest wave breaks of the last decade, being ridden by the world's top big wave surfers.
The Angel Falls sequence is an expensive one, with a structure that cost upwards of $500K to build. It consisted of a platform that was approximately the size of a football field just beneath the summit of the falls where the crew set up camp so as not to disrupt the environment by making camp on the ground. Kosove likened the shoot at Angel Falls to a "full-scale military operation".
Some of the world's best athletes worked on this film, including Jeb Corliss, whom Kosove cited as being "the greatest wing suit athlete in the world". Legendary surfers Laird Hamilton and Sebastian Zietz, and pro skateboarder Bob Burnquist were also involved & also pro rock climber Chris Sharma.
The film takes place over the period of about a month, and took close to a year to shoot. It was shot in over 10 countries and 4 continents. Point Break (2015) uses physical locations as much as possible, and the producers tried to be judicious when implementing green screens or VFX.
Despite being a self-proclaimed huge fan of the original film, Ramirez did not go back to the source material to prepare because he felt that what Swayze did with Bodhi was "beautiful and unique", and that attempting to redo it shouldn't be the goal. He described his performance and the film in general as a reimagining and as such, something unique and new.
The creators of the movie wanted it to be as authentic as possible, i.e. no CGI, so all of the great extreme-sports scenes were shot in real life, at a variety of exotic locations. The free climbing scene at the end of the movie was shot on location, at Angel Falls, deep within the jungles of Venezuela. The skydiving scene in the beginning of the movie was not actually shot in Mexico, but the last part of the scene (where two guys jump into a massive cave) was. The cave, Cave of Swallows, is one of the largest vertical caves in the world, and is located in central Mexico. The base-jumping scene, where the crew is flying their wingsuits from the top of a mountain, barely off the ground, between trees, and through gorges, were all filmed near Walenstadt, Switzerland. When doing the snowboard scene, filming took place on the Italian side of Mt. Blanc. Not filming directly on the mountain, but rather filming it in a valley called Aosta Valley, located between Valgrisenche and Courmayeur. The action scene at the gold mine was also filmed in Italy, but this time in the Dolomite mountains. A part of the motocross scene was shot at the Falzarego Pass. The very first motocross scene seen in the movie, is shot in a place called Swing Arm City, in Utah (USA). And finally, the surfing scenes are filmed in two different locations: Peahi Maui, Hawaii and Teahupo'o, Tahiti.
The production relied on a variety of different digital cameras in order to depict extreme sports in new and innovative ways, including Go-Pros, the RED camera and an Opticom, which Kosove described as a RED camera fastened to a remote controlled helicopter.
In terms of tone and the overall approach to Point Break, Kosove wanted to go back to what he feels action films used to be, with higher stakes, "real action, real consequences and people getting hurt".
Luke Bracey won the role of Johnny Utah after an extensive audition process, and he got the part due to the fact that he seemed "real" and unaffected, according to Kosove. An added bonus was the fact that Bracey has been surfing and playing rugby since childhood.
The scene where Utah has the chance to shoot Bodhi and prevent his escape but instead fires the gun towards the sky while screaming in frustration is one of the only "nods" to the original film. In the original Point Break Keanu Reeves makes the same choice after first revealing to Patrick Swayze he is an FBI agent.
Prior to the remake of Point Break being green lit there was a sequel in development that would have been set in Indonesia and star Australian actor Damien Walshe-Howling. The project was thought to have nothing in common with the original movie apart from the surfer/outlaw angle. The project was shelved after languishing in development for a number of years.
Utah's knuckle tattoos are facing the wrong direction. Normally when a person makes a fist others that look at your fist are supposed to be able to read what is tatted on them. Utah's are upside down, so he is the only person to be able to read it.
The villains in the film are simultaneously terrorists and extreme protectors of the environment. Kosove stated that everything they do is to be "one with nature". As such, the film explores themes of eco-terrorism and radical environmentalism as the driving force underlying the villains' actions.
Teresa Palmer, who plays Samsara in the film, describes her character as a kind of oracle, a woman who is "very deeply rooted in her spirituality and has been on this incredibly complex journey from when she was born... and these men look to her for answers."
Bracey came in to be interviewed with a face made up to look beaten. He explained with a grin that his character had been in a highly choreographed fight with Bodhi, which takes place in an underground fight club in France.
Chris Taylor, a business executive at Largo Entertainment, the production company that made the original Point Break, acquired the rights to remake the film after the business folded. He later partnered with Alcon Entertainment to develop the remake script over a 3-year period with writer Kurt Wimmer and director Ericson Core.
The cove which is declared to be "Biarritz, France" where the character meets a guy, with the white and yellow speedboat and the swimmers on the left side is instead in Italy, the location is Castro Marina, a small town in the southern east of the country, Puglia.
The extreme snowboarding scenes were inspired in part by 1991 Windows and DOS game SkiFree, in which a yeti inevitably appears and devours the player-controlled skier after descending the mountain past a certain point. Director Ericson Core interprets the yeti as a representation of dharma, the Buddhist concept of cosmic law and order. Although no yeti is depicted in the movie, there is still a sense of danger and impending death on the slopes, the natural consequences of extreme sports which Bodhi and Utah seek to defy.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The Ozaki 8 as seen on the chalkboard in the FBI headquarters are as follows: -1. Emerging Force - Navigate the Inga Falls Rapids (Democratic Republic of the Congo) -2. Birth of Sky - Base jump from a high location (Everest, Tibet). -3. Awakening Earth - Penetrate the ground in the Cave of Swallows after skydive (San Luis Potosi, Mexico). -4. Life of Water - Surf giant ocean waves about 20-30 meters high (Biarritz, France). -5. Life of Wind - Fly with a wingsuit after jumping from the top of a mountain (Churfirsten Mountain Range, Switzerland). -6. Life of Ice - Snowboard from the top of an ice mountain to the mountainside (Aosta Valley, Italy). -7. Master of Six Lives - Climb the stone wall of a grand waterfall without using security measures (Angel Falls, Venezuela). -8. Act of Ultimate Trust - Jump off the waterfall after climbing it (Angel Falls, Venezuela).
At the end of the movie they are at Cortes Bank, during the scene Utah says that they are 150 miles off shore, which is actually incorrect. Cortes Bank is 96 miles southwest of San Pedro, Los Angeles, 111 miles (166 kilometers) west of Point Loma, San Diego and 47 miles (82 kilometers) south-west of San Clemente Island in Los Angeles County.