Katherine Bigelow's 1991 action masterpiece (yeah, I went there) is as close to untouchable as a movie can get. For those who don't know, it's about an FBI hot shot named Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) who used to play quarterback for Ohio State but had to stop because of a torn ACL. Now he's been transferred to the L.A. Bureau's bank robbery division, where he and crusty partner Angelo Pappas (Gary Busey) start pursuing a team of robbers known as the "Ex-Presidents." These crooks aren't messing around: they rock rubber masks depicting the faces of Reagan, Nixon, Carter, and the like, and have serious tan lines on their asses. This last fact leads Angelo to believe that they're surfers, which prompts Utah to infiltrate L.A.'s surfing culture undercover. There he meets Bodhi (Patrick Swayze, R.I.P.) a guru-like adrenaline junky who might have some skeletons in his closet that he doesn't want getting out.
Photo Credit: Chris and Phil Present
It's a tale about honor, integrity, male bonding, spirituality, and our problematic fixation on "civilization" and its discontents. It also has surfing, skydiving, shootouts, surfing, parties, bank robberies, surfing, witty banter, and a pretty phenomenal chase sequence. Bigelow directs with a skillfulness that long predates her Oscar-winning work on The Hurt Locker, but remains no less impressive in its own right. Reeves and Swayze create one of the great screen bromances of all time, while Busey provides much needed comic relief and perspective, as Johnny Utah gets dangerously involved with his undercover work.
Photo Credit: Flickering Myth
The remake has apparently been in the works since 2011, but only now have any concrete details been released. According to the press release, "The new version of the film is set in the world of international extreme sports, and like the original involves an undercover FBI agent infiltrating a criminal ring." This could mean no surfing, which basically destroys the whole point of Point Break. In addition, The Fast and the Furious cinematographer and Invincible director Ericson Core has signed on to direct. I want to give the guy a chance, but frankly, he's no Bigelow.
Photo Credit: Film School Rejects
In short, why touch a modern classic? Like trying to remake The Godfather, the road to Point Break 2.0 is inevitably riddled with disaster, shortcomings, and disappointment. Patrick Swayze is rolling over in his grave right now.
And yet, I absolutely cannot wait to see it.