Hear that hissing? It's the sound of hordes of movie fans bemoaning today's news that Gerard Butler is stepping aboard a planned remake of the 1991 surf thriller "Point Break."
Butler is reportedly assuming the role of Bodhi, the enigmatic, fearless surfer criminal dude played by the late Patrick Swayze (Keanu Reeves' surfer agent dude Johnny Utah part has yet to be cast).
Fans are riled up, and rightfully so.
No, "Point Break" is not "Citizen Kane" (the "Citizen Kane" of cat-and-mouse surfer dude movies? Yes). Swayze and Reeves were never mistaken for Brando and Olivier. But "Break" is a piece of beloved pure-'90s camp that's only grown in viewer's-eyes virtue in recent years.
To fans, this feels wrong for so many reasons. Here are 10.
1. It's kinda disrespectful to the memory of Swayze, guys.
We already had to take cover when Hollywood regurgitated a new-school take on the late actor's 1984 film "Red Dawn," finally released to little fanfare in 2012 after long delays. But that remake hardly make a blip, so it was easy to ignore. Plus, it was an ensemble. "Point Break" is definitively Swayze, and one of our very favorite movies to remember him by. It's not any less offensive than remaking "Dirty Dancing," "Ghost" or "Road House." (Telling you right now, anyone touches "Road House" and they're getting a roundhouse kick to the face.)
2. Too soon.
After watching dozens of '80s favorites get the re-rub treatment over the past decade, it appears Hollywood is now on to the '90s. See recent reboots of "Total Recall" and "Judge Dredd" (note to producers: both were box-office busts). "Starship Troopers" and "The Crow" are in the works again, and there's another "Godzilla" movie coming out soon (not based on the 1998 version, but still), and "Naked Gun" is back with Ed Helms (the first one came out in '88, but still). "Point Break" is only 23 years old. Can't they wait until we're all dead, or at least until we're all too senile to realize what's going on?
3. There's that awesome live version.
Capitalizing on the escalating love fest surrounding "Point Break" (and arguably boosting its stature in pop culture even further), "Point Break Live" has become one of the hottest tickets in California (playing L.A., San Francisco and Orange County) before making its way to New York. The inspired piece of interactive theater is like the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" for the beach set.
4. You can't do it better than Bigelow.
One of the most enjoyable side effects to seeing Kathryn Bigelow become the toast of the town with "The Hurt Locker" over 2009-2010 was the public re-realization was that she was in fact the visionary behind the action-packed "Break." (Fervent fans of "Point Break" could even suggest her Oscar for "Hurt Locker" was really owed to her for "Break." That might qualify them as insane though.) Suddenly it all made sense. Are they crazy enough to this this remake could possibly attach a stronger director than Bigelow?
5. Gerard Butler should have stronger options.
Gerard Butler is a good man, and a good actor. He hit the big-time in 2006 rocking a loincloth and swinging swords in Zack Snyder's stylish epic "300." Butler has gotten plenty of roles since, but few have connected with audiences (and too many were baaaaad rom-coms), aside from his voice work in "How to Train Your Dragon" and last year's sleeper hit "Olympus Has Fallen" (both with sequels due, by the way). He should hold out for better options than a "Point Break" retread.
6. 'Chasing Mavericks' didn't work out so well.
Butler is clearly into riding waves. In 2012 he co-starred in "Chasing Mavericks," which portrayed the true story of surfing phenom Jay Moriarty. Do what you love, right? And especially if there's a couple million bucks in it for you, right? Thing is, "Mavericks" didn't work out so well, earning less-than-favorable reviews and earning a measly $6 million at the box office. Also, Gerry, don't forget about that time you nearly died while making "Mavericks." We don't want you to die. Hey, so, uh, maybe you'll change your mind on "Break"?
7. And isn't Butler a little old for the part?
Swayze (RIP) was 38 when he made "Point Break." Butler is already 44, is starting to grey, and will be a shade or two older by the time cameras start rolling on the remake. Not to be ageist, but it's another item for the "cons list."
8. 'Fast and Furious' owns this genre now.
In a way, the original "Point Break" paved the way for the "Fast and Furious" series. Instead of surfers who moonlight as criminals, you had street racers who moonlight as criminals. It looked like the "Fast" franchise was grinding to a halt after 2006's "Tokyo Drift," but parts 4-6 have made it one of the most lucrative (and entertaining) series around, with a seventh installment that will still feature the late Paul Walker coming in 2015. A new "Break" won't hold a candle to the over-the-top blow-em-ups of "Fast."
9. The supporting cast killed.
Gary Busey's got a stake in this race, too. "Point Break" is arguably the greatest thing the off-the-wall actor has ever done. Don't put him through this, we beg you. The 1991 film also featured killer turns from John C. McGinley, Lori Petty and last but not least, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Who could possibly replace Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers?
10. What's the reason?
There tend to be two school of thoughts movie remakers will reference in justifying their perceived tainting of a beloved film: Either the original feels old and dated, and could use a modern twist that better appeals to a new generation; or that the original wasn't that great in the first place, and could be vastly improved upon. How do you contemporize the 23-year-old "Point Break"? Make the Nixon and Reagan masks Bush and Obama? Weak. As for improving upon the original, good luck with that. We love "Point Break" for what it is, ridiculous moments and all. It's 100 percent adrenaline, you know. Anything less would be an insult.
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