From the Archives: Point Break is Being Remade, and That’s Fine

From the Archives: Point Break is Being Remade, and That’s Fine

In the interest of getting “hard” copies of my work under one roof, I plan to spend the next few weeks posting the entire archive of my film journalism here on ScullyVision. With due respect to the many publications I’ve written for, the internet remains quite temporary, and I’d hate to see any of my work disappear for digital reasons. As such, this gargantuan project must begin! I don’t want to do it. I hate doing it. But it needs to be done. Please note that my opinions, like everyone’s, have changed a LOT since I started, so many of these reviews will only represent a snapshot in time. Objectivity has absolutely no place in film criticism, at least not how I do it. 

Without further ado, I present to you: FROM THE ARCHIVES.
Originally posted on Cinema76.

This week we got our first look at the upcoming remake of Point Break, and by the reaction of the Internet, you’d think they remade the moon landing. The complaints range from “this is unnecessary” to “this is a personal attack on fans of the original!” While I do agree that remaking a film whose charm lies solely in being “of its time” is a pretty dumb idea, I still can’t work up even a modicum of anger toward the project. Here’s why.


1. It’s not out yet.

This actually says it all. The movie isn’t out yet, and still the hate train rolls forward. As it stands, we’ve seen roughly 2.5 minutes of footage from what is likely a 2 hour movie. I’ve read more than a few criticisms that claim the 2015 remake is soulless and absent of charm. How is it even remotely possible to know this? Not wanting to see it is fine, but to hate it seems closed-minded.


2. It looks like a showcase for good stunt work.

I gasped more than once during my initial viewing of the trailer. As any readers know, I’m a huge fan of practical stunt work, and much like the original Point Break, the remake’s modus operandi appears to be showcasing a wicked stunt reel and building a movie around it. The director, Ericson Core (whose name may as well be Mountain Dew), began his film career as a Cinematographer, so even if the script is terrible (kind of like the original), we can presume that the action is going to look great. Sure this isn’t the best way to construct a great story, but is story what matters in this case? Because last I checked…


3. Point Break isn’t a very good movie.

Which isn’t to say I don’t love it with every fiber of my being. I do. There are few movies more aggressively entertaining than Point Break, but I was always under the impression that our cultural love for it was based at least a little bit in the fact that it’s pretty stupid. My current fanhood of Keanu Reeves aside, his performance as Johnny Utah is abysmal. Yes, it totally works within the context of the film, but that’s gotta be a fluke (I … am an FBI ……………… AGENT!). None of the characters seem to have any motivation outside of “because that’s what the script says,” nor do they behave in any way congruent with real life. Of course, reality is not why any of us are watching a buddy-cop-surf-heist-bro-down flick, but my assertion stands that Point Break, while completely iconic and enjoyable, isn’t very good, and certainly isn’t untouchable.

4. The original movie will always exist.

As far as I can tell, there is no rule in the Hollywood playbook which requires the destruction of a film in light of the remake. That’s right, no matter how big (or small) of a hit the new Point Break turns out to be, the original will still be available, likely in the $3 bin at Wal-Mart. Not only that, but the remake is optional. You don’t have to see it if you don’t want to. Ever. Trust me when I say that I get it. I understand nerd-rage as well as anyone else regarding our medium of choice, but I feel it should be reserved for something a little more important that a Point Break remake. Heck, a new Star Wars flick comes out just one week prior, at which point we’ll be either nerdgasmed or nerd-raged out (perhaps both), and potentially in desperate need of something as harmlessly distracting as a dumb remake of an equally dumb classic.

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