There is no better example of a feature that bridges the gap between the action flicks of the eighties and the nineties than Point Break. This Kathryn Bigelow helmed gem perfectly encapsulates what was great about both the decades in question. It’s a one hundred minute shot of action with a love story chaser. With the remake of this neo-classic action film up and coming, it’s important to get it right. In order to do so, there are key moments or derivatives of said moments from this classic that beg to be included in the remake.
The Ex-presidents Robbing The Bank
If there is a signature that can be taken away from this film its the disguises worn by the bank robbers (and the almost spot-on impression of Nixon). The disguise was inventive, charasmatic and original. All the hallmarks of a pop culture phenomenon. An updated riff on this is a must.
The Pickup Football Sequence
If there’s one thing that the eighties did better than any decade on film it was the sports montage. None better than the volleyball scene in Top Gun. How do you up the ante in the nineties? Make the montage not just about having fun but acceptance into the culture. This football scene is pivotal because it shows the group of robbers ingratiating Johnny Utah into their ranks, and its a thing of beauty in twenty four frames a second.
The Beach Fight
When you think about the music of the nineties, it has to include The Red Hot Chili Peppers opus “Blood, Sugar, Sex Majik”. What better way to promote your forthcoming album than to make a cameo in what’s sure to be a box office success. Anthony Keidis did just that. It’s beautiful in its simplicity. Not many words, and in (literally) nineties fashion (long hair up top, shaved on the sides, replete with beads) its the perfect way to make a splash without making a splash.
The fact of the matter is that surfers have to surf. Doesn’t matter when. Even if its in the middle of your own raucous beach party. An unsure Johnny Utah accompanies Bodhi in what is easily the most mentally and physically stimulating moment of the film. Utah, who has up until now only been told about the zen of surfing, now actually experiences it. Additionally it’s the moment where Tyler and Johnny take their relationship to the next level. This scene is a win on multiple levels and it resonates with the audience.
The original Point Break had a bunch of moments that raised the stakes of the main characters. The biggest raise can in the form of a bust when Johnny Utah face almost meets a lawnmower. It showed exactly how far these surfers were willing to go when battling the F.B.I., it put Johnny at risk of blowing his cover, and it put Johnny’s reputation at stake when we find out that his intuition was wrong about who was behind the robberies.
The Chase Scene
In the vein of the eighties classic “Lethal Weapon”, the epic chase scene with Utah and a disguised Bodhi, incorporates everything every guy wants. Trading paint, fire, and at the end of it, mutual respect between the hero and villain.
In one of the most over the top moments in nineties cinematic history, this iconic scene is wrought with tension as it comes after Bodhi realizes Utah is an officer of the law. Is there going to be a showdown? Is the secret going to be thrust out in the open? Did Bodhi sabotage Utah’s chute? Its the perfect blend of stress and adrenaline, and it simultaneously allows for a break in action for the audience.
The Robbery Prep
What happens when you put our hero and our villain in a confined space with loaded firearms? The open secret is exposed to which Bodhi replies “I know man, isn’t it wild?” as if it was in stride.
“Via Con Dios!”
The last scene in the movie is a showdown at Bells Beach. It is glorious. It shows the dichotomy between the good in our hero and the laissez-faire, zen attitude of our villain. You want two things from this moment and they are both at odds. You want the hero to take out our villain and you want our villain to get his one last shot at riding the wave he’s been dreaming about his whole life. The audience inexplicably ends up satisfied and solidified its place in action movie lore.
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