People always have the same conversation whenever a beloved film or cult hit gets remade: why redo something that wasn’t bad to begin with? It’s a silly question. Nobody complains when a Shakespeare play is re-staged or re-interpreted, and some films almost demand to be remade every 20 years because they play differently with other political and social backdrops.
I have no particular attachment to Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 thriller Point Break. A lot of people I know didn’t give it much thought until Hot Fuzz drew attention to its amusing machismo and silliness. While difficult to match the original’s star-wattage of Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves as a surfing bank robber and rookie FBI agent, respectively, this remake wisely doesn’t even try: Luke Bracey (G.I Joe: Retaliation) has Keanu’s Johnny Utah role, with Édgar Ramírez (Zero Dark Thirty) playing spiritual baddie Bodhi. But hey, Ray Winstone replaces Gary Busey—so that’s a definite trade up.
People need to chill out about remakes, except for sacrosanct films that work purely because of a special alchemy of filmmaking. I wouldn’t dare touch E.T – The Extra-Terrestrial or Back to the Future, for instance. Whatever your fondness for the ’91 Point Break is, this new trailer looks perfectly fine to me. And it looks like they’ve improved Bodhi’s backstory, while finding a logical way to make the film a more globetrotting experience and tap into the character’s spiritualism. Swayze’s character was basically a bank robber who also loved surfing, let’s not forget that.
Warner Bros. have brought the release of Point Break forward from next August to 25 December this year, which suggests they’re not sure if it’ll be wiped out (pardon the surfing pun) amidst the blockbusters-in-waiting next summer, but that it may do well in the important but less competitive Christmas period.
Famous last words? Perhaps. But why not be optimistic once in awhile instead of hating remakes on sight? Just don’t think too much about how the director is Fast and the Furious’s cinematographer Ericson Core, or that writer Kurt Wimmer was also behind the terrible Total Recall remake. Okay?