I can’t believe it. Well, I can- but part of me just flat out refuses to do so. They’re re-making Point Break. Or sorry, they are re-booting it. I knew it would happen. It had too, especially when you consider the widespread popularity of surfing. When I see dudes in Iowa rocking Billabong gear, then it was easy to see that Point Break- a movie that has simultaneously become better and worse over time, was bound to come back into our lives.
What will this re-boot be like?
And more importantly, will anyone ask me what I think?
If you haven’t seen Point Break (which is kind of unbelievable, especially now seeing as how many times it’s on various Encore channels and the occasional airings on Versus) I will give you a quick rundown of what it’s about. Johnny Utah is a FBI agent and former college football star. He blew out his knee in the big game and has quickly become somewhat of a prodigy in the FBI. He ends up in California and is partnered up with the wild and crazy Gus Pappus, a wily veteran of the department with a penchant for wearing bad Hawaiian shirts and fast food, who is currently the only agent tackling this pesky bank-robbing case. Who is behind all of these robberies? According to Pappus, it’s surfers. Goddamn surfers. Why? Patterns, surf wax, tan lines. So Utah goes undercover as a surfer, rents a ridiculous surf board, gets lessons from a local hot chick with a dark past, gets punched in the face by the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and ends up befriending the same crew of dudes he has been tasked to bring down. Oh, and the bank robbers wear masks of former presidents. Pappus calls them the ex-Presidents. It’s also a race against a time, because once the surfing season ends, they vanish- looking for epic waves and other extreme shit- whatever was cool in the early 90’s, stuff you might have seen Dan Cortese do on MTV Sports. Eventually the Ex-Presidents and their Zen master leader Bodie find out Utah is with the FBI so they do what any crew of criminals would then do- they go ski diving. Utah jumps out of a plan without a chute, they end up in the desert, most of the dudes die and Bodie runs away to Australia where Utah eventually finds him on the beach, waiting for the fifty year storm. The movie ends with Bodie attempting to surf the massive surf and getting tossed around by the waves and Utah, rocking a stellar Canadian tuxedo, tosses his badge in the ocean. Oh yeah, Pappus died too. Roach shot him.
So that’s Point Break. There’s some more too it, but that’s the gist of it. Besides the Bill and Ted movies, it’s the only movie that Keanu is actually okay in- but that could be largely because he’s just playing himself. Patrick Swayze is Bodie and most of his lines don’t really make sense- he rambles off dialogue that feels like it was written by an over-ambitious fan of Jack Kerouac. Supposedly Point Break is based on the book Tapping the Source. I read Tapping the Source. I have my doubts. They both have surfing, that’s about the only connection.
For years, I’ve wanted to re-write Point Break because at its core, I think it’s an interesting movie and surfing is cool, bank robberies are cool, and diving in a pool for cinder blocks is cool. I think if you made the dialogue more real and less clichéd and made the rest of the Ex-Presidents less of a gang of stereotypes and more a gang of interesting dudes- it could be a fun movie. I mean one of the Ex-Presidents’ names is Grommit. Grommit is slang for a hanger-on. It’d be cooler if you named a character Ninja, but still.
The name Johnny Utah would stay, but I think Bodie would have a different name. The bank robbers would still wear president masks. There would be one member of the Ex-President who is a little crazy, a little hard- serving as the ying to Bodie’s yang- like Jem in the Town. There would need to be more conflict within the Ex-Presidents when they find out that Utah is a Fed. I think one of my issues with Point Break is that the only real voice of the bad guys is Bodie. I’d like to learn more about them as I think a gang of surfers who finance their worldly travels by robbing banks is a lot more interesting than a flat love story or fellow FBI agents shitting on Pappus and Utah for thinking surfers were behind the robberies. I’m not saying bad guys are more interesting than good guys- but I do feel that Point Break would be a more compelling movie if it were less about Utah and more about Bodie. I would take out all that bullshit that takes place at the FBI where they don’t believe in Pappus and Utah. I’d still want Utah walking into the FBI office with a surf board, but I wouldn’t want the local FBI field director ribbing him out for it. The bank robberies were suppose to be this major string of crimes; a big case that was apparently so big, it went above local jurisdiction so the FBI had to get involved. I don’t think it makes sense to then have the head of the FBI in California berating the two officers on the case for simply doing their job.
I want scenes were the Ex-Presidents are plotting out their bank robberies. I want to know where they get their getaway cars and maybe even there should be a scene where they buy their guns for a particular robbery. There should also be a car chase because car chases are cooler than foot chases. There would also not be a scene where Utah has the chance to kill Bodie but doesn’t. That doesn’t make sense. If Utah had reservations about killing Bodie, why would he keep going with the case?
Why does Utah quit the FBI at the end of the original movie? Because it interferes with his surfing? Because Pappus is dead? Because the case is over? The answer- there is no real reason. I think he just did because in the under-developed world of the original Point Break, it made sense. But in the re-make, if Utah does quit the FBI, he needs to do so for some profound reason. Maybe he learns that he will always be chasing the Bodies of the world. Maybe he realizes, after spending time with the Ex-Presidents and learning to appreciate their passion for surfing and seeing how far they’ll go, just to catch a wave- that there is more to life than chasing down crooks for the government and maybe he feels he could do more with his life.
Either way, Utah needs to be more definitive in his actions.
I don’t know if anyone in Hollywood will read this blog- I doubt it. But I wish they would at least give me the chance to re-write Point Break. If you’re going to re-boot a movie that is beloved by a generation, then a member of that generation should be given the first crack at penning the script.
Bodie’s not coming back, but Point Break is. I want in.