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

It's weird being a fan of action cinema. There's this strange belief that the general thrust of all movies is pandering to your desires, with gruff male heroes and guns and high stakes and all those trappings. The truth is, a lot of movies do pander to this desire, but very few nail it, and that's why competent action movies can appear few and far between, and when they do come along, they're usually in different flavors.

When I say flavors, I'm talking about the vastly different tones and styles these movies can adopt. Didn't get the bone crunching, wince inducing ferocity of [The Raid 2: Berendal](tag:573588) this year? Well you're probably getting the fun, pathos strewn middle finger to the laws of physics that is Furious 7! The aesthetic of the Bourne movies has been absent from mainstream cinema for some time, and the only huge action release on the horizon is Point Break. Let's compare these two staples of modern action movies, and work out just which will be suitable for you!


Matt Damon gotta run places!
Matt Damon gotta run places!

What appeals to you about the stories of these respective movies likely says more about your own plot sensibilities than it does about the films themselves. Despite having outstayed the plot of the original Bourne trilogy written by Robert Ludlam, there are a number of further novels by Eric Van Lustbader that extend the story of Jason Bourne. In fact, there are nine further books, so the Bourne movies really aren't at a loss for material to work with.

Point Break is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, in that it's set to be a straight forward remake of one movie made in the 90s. No further story has been extrapolated from Point Break, except for when the first Fast & Furious remade it by accident. The story of Point Break is an incredibly simple one, and that's why I will defend it's replication.


I'm tearing up already!
I'm tearing up already!

I know it sounds a little shallow, but this is the area where Point Break excels. Yes the characters of Utah and Bodhi are so simple and archetypical, it's almost funny, but they're put to such good use, I feel a sense of joy when they appear on screen together, even when they're played by completely new actors. It's essentially a love story involving someone having to pose as something they're not, only to fall into the very circles they're trying to infiltrate, leading to a painful decision of allegiances.

Sure, Jason Bourne is technically a more well-rounded character with a more convincing back story, and more compelling motivation, but he is still very much a cultural figure. The very fact that I could stab someone with a pen, and people would start cracking Jason Bourne jokes shows how cemented in our consciousness he is!


For of this!
For of this!

When it comes to stunts, you can really see the differences in sensibilities in these movies. While Paul Greengrass' method of shooting action focusses particularly on the visceral thrill, Point Break goes for authenticity, having real extreme athletes on screen pulling off amazing feats. What Bourne 5 should remember is that it exists in a post-Craig Bond world. Since The Bourne Ultimatum, we will have seen Skyfall and Spectre, and that's a high standard for spy movies that this film will have to meet!

For everything else on Point Break, click right here! What are your thoughts on these movies? Share them here with a post on MoviePilot, vote in our poll, or leave a comment below!


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