ByPeter Flynn, writer at
An advocate for understanding the phenomenological wonder of the moving image. Also Tremors is the best.
Peter Flynn

Hollywood action movies are moving into a new era. No longer is it simply a case of pulling a slight of hand trick on the audience. Now the quickest route to box office glory and being remembered in the pantheon of action is to knuckle down and actually impress your audience with skill and craft. No series of movies has embodied this better than the Fast & Furious franchise. On the surface, these movies seem about as dumb as modern cinema can get, but look deeper, and you see a determination to create something good, and a real respect for the audience.

It seems as if the Fast & Furious movies have a lock on this crowd-pleasing model of blockbuster, but that might all be about to change with the action releases that are set to grace our screens in the coming years. What kind of movie could possibly challenge Fast & Furious as the king of stunt-driven action?

Point Break

I might be on my own in being really quite excited for the remake of Katherine Bigelow's cops and robbers and oh yeah surfing movie from the 90s. It's easy to sneer at a remake after so much time, but this movie actually posits an interesting aesthetic that seems to reflect the final scene from the first movie. Strangely enough, the first Fast & Furious movie is itself a remake of Point Break, are we set to see these two properties competing in the coming years? Let's break down a few of their shared elements, and see which will come out on top!


Just blow up a mountain. No big deal.
Just blow up a mountain. No big deal.

Since both these movies revolve around high stakes heists with all kinds of vehicles, stunts are quite clearly going to be an important factor. Furious 7 and the movies before it have fun and entertainment as a core priority, constantly outdoing themselves to a ridiculous degree. That plane chase in [Fast & Furious 6](tag:37143) was incredible, and it was only there to be followed up by the jump between not two, but three sky scrapers in Furious 7!

What these movies definitely aren't aiming for is realism. This is where Point Break comes in, for the stunts in this movie seem to be appealing to the kind of people who would want to pull them off. The movie has no desire to gloss over the very real and dangerous feats extreme athletes are going for. While Furious 7 can wow us visually, it may as well be fantasy at this point.


The Fast & Furious team!
The Fast & Furious team!

It's difficult to compare these movies at this stage. As I've already said, the first Fast & Furious movie is ostensibly a remake of Point Break, with an undercover cop having to infiltrate an extreme life style, and becoming caught between the new world he's discovered and his sense of duty. It ends a little better for these characters in Fast & Furious, given that six more movies were to follow. Since then, the Fast & Furious movies have grown into an entirely different beast. It really doesn't matter what Kurt Russell or the Godseye really signify in Furious 7. We just want to see characters we love get into ever more crazy situations.

If the Point Break remake can recapture that campy drama from the original movie, we could be set for a winner. The story is so simple, and conjures up such a basic joy, I'm amazed more movies haven't remade it with different extreme lifestyles just as Fast & Furious did.


Friendship as depicted by Point Break
Friendship as depicted by Point Break

Here's the incredible thing about the Fast & Furious movies. They were able to bring back characters who seemed like complete nobodies and make it as if they'd been part of the team since the beginning of the franchise! Characters like Tej or Han appear to have undergone huge character arcs, and it's all because they didn't seem that big a deal when they first turned up. The tragic death of Paul Walker created a sense of togetherness for the Fast & Furious cast. That sense of heritage and family is simply something Point Break can't have. It doesn't help that the replacement for Keanu Reeves' Johnny Utah just doesn't have the charisma needed to hold a franchise together.

You can check out my other articles on Furious 7 here! What are your thoughts, hopes and fears on Point Break, and the upcoming [Fast & Furious 8](tag:1117455)? Let us know with a post here on MoviePilot, by voting in our poll, or by leaving a comment below!


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