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The new ‘Point Break’ trailer is everything that’s wrong with modern remakes
This isn’t the ‘Point Break’ I remember.
Christmas just got a little more radical.
The first trailer for the upcoming remake of Point Break hit the web on Tuesday, and boy, it really is something else.
No, really. It is something else entirely.
This isn’t the Point Break the world came to know and love in 1991. This reimagining finds FBI Agent Johnny Utah—actual name—infiltrating a crew of thrill-seeking super-criminals who use “their skills to disrupt the international financial markets.” Like him, they are extreme athletes.
However, unlike Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 classic, which stars Keanu Reeves as Agent Utah alongside Patrick Swayze’s surfing guru Bodhi, the bank robbers in this “supercharged” version lack the charisma and need-for-speed attitude of the original movie’s gang. Instead of that search for the “ultimate ride,” their thing is…philanthropy? It’s not really clear.
Judging from the trailer—and I’m going to disregard my previous stance on trailer reviews for this one—2015’s Point Break meekly sops up what made the original so much fun, eschewing the camp, edginess, and self-awareness of Bigelow’s movie for big-budget set-pieces that involve more carabiners than you would find at any REI. The trailer is enough to make one wonder exactly how much Warner Bros. spent on Mountain Dew.
Additionally, the new Point Break appears to focus so little on surfing that it completely nullifies the title, which referenced the surf term used to describe the point where waves hit the coastline.
A few questions: Did Johnny Utah blow out his knee in the X-Games? Where are the Ex-Presidents? Why put Anthony Kiedis’ tattoos on the new Johnny Utah?
Reactions to the Point Break remake ranged from disbelief, dismissal, to outright disgust. Twitter responded to the trailer reasonably.
brb laughing forever at that Point Break trailer DO U EVEN DO XTREME SPORTS FOR A GOOD CAUSE BRO
— Britt Hayes, Esq. (@MissBrittHayes) May 26, 2015
They are remaking Point Break? whyyyyyyy
— 星のカービィ (@HockeySavants) May 27, 2015
As a reminder, here is the original movie’s glorious trailer.
I’m not against the idea of a movie where “extreme sports athletes” pull off huge, stunt-filled heists. I’m not against Ericson Core directing the movie—he was, after all, the original DP of The Fast and the Furious, the only acceptable reimagining of Point Break. (Perhaps he should have quit while he was ahead.) But I’m not okay with an unnecessary update of a movie that still holds up almost 25 years later, a modern classic by an Academy Award-winning director.
The Point Break remake is a blatant attempt to tug at the nostalgic heartstrings of ’90s kids without actually channeling what made them enjoy the original movie. Luke Bracey and Ray Winstone’s respective lackadaisical impressions of Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey are hardly enough to rein in even the most adrenaline-craving Bodhi-head.
There are few perfect things in this world, and Kathryn Bigelow’s Point Break was one of them. Attempting to give it a glossy makeover will only drive more eyes to the greatness of the 1991 version.
I’m pretty sure I know how Keanu feels about all of this.
Screengrab via Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube
Feliks Garcia was a reporter and essayist whose work for the Daily Dot focused on social justice issues, internet culture, and the Rock. He was a staff writer for the Independent when he passed away in February 2017 after suffering a heart attack. He was 33.