In the world of films ripe to be remade with even more box office dollars in mind, Point Break wasn’t exactly high on the list. But back in 2011, the first word of a remake broke, implying there were some who felt the Keanu Reeves adventure was popular enough for a second helping. The story remains largely intact, but as the new trailer reveals, the escalation of heist films and extreme sports means this version will be raising the bar from plain old surfing.
It isn’t just extreme water sports, but extreme sports of every type showcased in the trailer, while offering the first looks at Luke Bracey and Édgar Ramírez in action, taking over the roles originally played by Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, respectively.
What should be immediately clear is how little the filmmakers are actually attempting to link this film with Kathryn Bigelow’s tale of surfers who get their kicks skydiving and robbing banks. Ignoring the obvious riddle – why bother branding a film as a Point Break remake if it pays little fan service, and seems to adopt the original movie in only a broad sense – the movie itself looks to be betting all its chips on the extreme sports angle. Extreme sports with some scattered cash and “liberated” bars of gold, of course.
It’s likely some readers were never around to see the first take on the story, casting Keanu Reeves as FBI Agent ‘Johnny Utah,’ and Patrick Swayze as ‘Bodhi,’ the leader of this thrill-seeking set of thieves. But it’s enough to say that the word “remake” is already seeming like a poor fit for this story, adopting the title and names, but showing the film’s thieves to be notably different than the original’s ‘Ex-Presidents.’
However, there was another successful movie series that followed a similar path already: The Fast & The Furious. Essentially swapping out surfboards and cash for cars and electronics, Fast & Furious scratched the exact same itch: law man infiltrates crime ring, becomes one of the family, blurring the line between right and wrong (with some romance thrown in for good measure).
The first Point Break trailer shows the scenery will again be changed, and with Gerard Butler replaced by Ramírez, it’s the skydiving, base-jumping, dirt biking, wingsuits – and yes, surfing – that will act as the major draw, as opposed to (American) star power. References to the original movie would have proved divisive, and still might, but the debate over reviving the Point Break name at all is only beginning (fun fact: it seems actor James Le Gros approves, having played one of Bodhi’s gang members and seen as an FBI agent in the trailer).
What do you think of the first trailer for the re-imagined Point Break? Are you happy to see the film will simply adopt the larger story, and form an identity of its own? Or are you less than thrilled to see the film’s name applied to an extreme sports showcase? Sound off in the comments.
In Alcon Entertainment’s fast-paced, high-adrenaline action thriller “Point Break,” a young FBI agent, Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey), infiltrates a cunning team of thrill seeking elite athletes, led by the charismatic Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez). The athletes are suspected of carrying out a string of staggering crimes that kill innocent people and send the world’s economy into a tailspin. Deep undercover, and with his life in imminent danger, Utah strives to prove they are the callous architects of these inconceivable crimes.
Point Break hits theaters on December 25, 2015.
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