Picture the scenario. You decide you want to make some money - big money. You could spend your time and energy working on an original idea, hoping that the pay-off will make the investment worthwhile, even if it takes a few years. Or you could just jump on somebody else's idea and get rich quick, even though this option is creatively bankrupt.
Congratulations - you just entered the mind of every executive in Hollywood!
This Christmas, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate will release Point Break, a full 24 years after the original film of the same name became a box office hit, and went on to accumulate a cult following.
Of course, there's no such thing as a risk-free investment in Hollywood. Any movie can bomb, even with a cast of A-listers. But with a Christmas Day release in theaters, Warner are throwing their weight behind Point Break - the question is, will this remake offer anything new? Let's see what punches the trailer packs.
We start with a quote about life and death over a screen of black, because a quote at the beginning of a trailer always adds credibility. Mind you, the fact that no actual person is credited with this alleged "ancient proverb" suggests it came straight from the lips of an overpaid man in an Armani suit. But whatever.
"There's a few billion dollars worth of gold down there."
"You're going to steal it?"
"No. We're going to liberate it."
Bonus points for every time a super-enlightened hipster-villain says something profound-slash-retarded.
"Do you have any idea how many laws you've broken?"
"The only law that matters is gravity!"
Another pearl of wisdom. Classic. This guy can't help himself!
Does it really matter if it's not a match for the original?
Maybe not. Maybe the sole purpose of a remake (beyond making money) is to introduce a new audience to a classic story, given a fresh makeover with the best of today's special effects.
But isn't that a cynical attitude? Don't we deserve something imbued with a little more creativity, a little more passion, if we're expected to part with our cash?
The Fast & The Furious - sequel game strong
Every now and then, that executive faced with two options for making money choose the slow-burn method - an original idea, a pay-off over time. One of the greatest examples of this is the Fast & Furious franchise.
The first movie in the franchise, The Fast & The Furious, didn't exactly receive glowing reviews - an entertaining action movie, as long as you turn your brain off, to paraphrase most of the reviews the film received.
But by the time [Fast & Furious 6](tag:37143) was released in 2013, both critics and audiences were on board. The writers had evolved the Fast & Furious franchise into a wild thrill ride which didn't require you to turn your brain off. But it was this year's Furious 7, fuelled by the public grief over the tragic death of star Paul Walker, that took the Furious movies stratospheric. With box office north of $1.5bn, this film surpassed even recent mega-smashes like [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035).
Why? Because after 14 years and 7 movies, audiences have spent half of their lifetime living with these characters. Hollywood can spend money on a remake, but it's that investment of time that reaps the real rewards. Point Break might make a third of Furious 7's box office return, if it's lucky. But twelve months from now, nobody will remember this movie.
Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps Point Break is not a cynical exercise in quick buck-ery. Perhaps there's a stronger action movie in wait than this trailer suggests. But I'd sooner spend my time in the company of old friends.
Has the culture of remakes in Hollywood gone too far, or are you excited for Point Break? Let me know in the comments!