The problem with remaking a classic movie is that you run the risk of the remake falling FAR short of the original, and then all the fans of the original film hate you for taking a big steaming poop on something they totally enjoyed when they first saw it. (For instance: Halloween, Fame, Arthur, Psycho ...) I'm not sure I would go quite so far as to call Point Break a classic movie, but it's certainly well-known. Plus, it has an even bigger challenge for the studio planning the remake: who could possibly replace Patrick Swayze?
I'm not sure why anyone would want to reboot Point Break -- aside from the obvious attempt to milk profits from a known title -- but I'm extra befuddled by the top contender to play Bodhi, originated by Patrick Swayze in the 1991 version. The Hollywood star currently in final negotiations to star in the surf/crime action flick remake is ... drumroll, please ... Gerard Butler.
I know: Gerard Butler???
My immediate thought is that Butler seems a little long in the tooth to play Bodhi, who's supposed to be an extreme-sports athlete running around doing stuff like surfing 100-foot waves. Of course, Butler has a history of buffing up quite nicely for his various action roles, so I suppose it doesn't really matter that he's older than Swayze was when he starred in the Kathryn Bigelow-directed original.
I guess it's just, you know: it's Patrick Swayze. It's like when you think about the upcoming Dirty Dancing remake and your brain just can't compute anyone other than Swayze in the role he made famous. Point Break isn't as universally beloved as Dirty Dancing, but it's still something of a '90s icon, made famous in part by Swayze's devotion to the part (he refused to use a stunt double, and cracked four ribs and completed 55 jumps from airplanes during filming).
I don't dislike Gerard Butler, but the whole thing just seems like a blatant cash-grab. You've got the big name action star combined with the recognizable title, which means no matter how shitty it is, it'll make money in the box office. Oh, the director is Ericson Core, cinematographer of The Fast and the Furious (2001), so it'll be even MORE familiar to audiences. As Junkfood Cinema once pointed out,
My absolute favorite thing about The Fast and the Furious is that it’s a nearly point-for-point remake of Point Break. Don’t believe me? Let’s break it down. Point Break is about a cop who is sent undercover to ascertain the identities of a group of thieves. Check. The fish-out-of-water cop must throw himself headfirst into the hobby in which the thieves almost certainly participate. Strike surfing and replace with racing. Check. The cop becomes friends with a formidable presence in said hobby after that guy rescues him from a beating. Check. The cop then erroneously believes that the thieves are not comprised of the group into which he has become ingratiated. Check. When he finds out that it is, in fact, his friend and that friend’s cohorts perpetrating the robberies, he can’t bring himself to apprehend said friend and lets him get away. Seriously, do I need to draw you a diagram?
In conclusion, BOO HISS to yet another lazy Hollywood remake greenlit in favor of an original screenplay. Although I have to admit I'm curious about two things: 1) will they re-create that crazy scene when Johnny Utah, the undercover FBI agent, jumps after Bodhi without a parachute? And 2) who's gonna replace Keanu Reeves?
What do you think about Gerard Butler playing Patrick Swayze's role in Point Break?
Image via 20th Century Fox