Pop Rocks: We Must Avenge Patrick Swayze
Surf thriller "Point Break" will get a modern update by Alcon and Warner Bros., much to fans' chagrin. According to Deadline.com, the new version will be set in the world of extreme sports.
Kurt Wimmer ("Salt," the upcoming "Total Recall" remake) has written the script for the new "Point Break," and like Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 original, this one involves an undercover FBI agent infiltrating a crime ring.
But, "Kurt's take infuses the story and characters with new twists and settings," says producer Michael DeLuca.
Leaving aside, for the moment, that the "undercover agent in the world of extreme sports" thing was already done in 2002 (it was called xXx and it was an epic crapfest, even by Vin Diesel standards). And ignoring, at present, the question, "If you're going to go through the trouble of coming up with 'new twists and settings,' then why not just come up with an entirely new movie?" Let me just ask this: When is Hollywood going to stop violating Patrick Swayze's corpse?
Besides Point Break, there are
two three other "reimagiSwayzinings" in the works.
Red Dawn: Chris "Thor" Hemsworth stars with Friday Night Lights' Adrianne Palicki and a bunch of other people you've never heard of. Seeing as how the Warsaw Pact is no more, the enemies this time are invading...North Koreans. The villains were originally going to be the Chinese, but since we wouldn't dream of insulting the totalitarian government that tolerates the theft of foreign technology and (allegedly) coordinates widespread computer attacks, the producers changed the bad guys to a country that lacks the force projection to get their military to Japan, much less Detroit (where the remake is set). So much for that vaunted Alaskan vigilance.
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Dirty Dancing: Never mind there was already a TV series, stage adapation and a relatively recent sequel to this (2004's Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights), and Swayze had a brief role in that. Now original choreographer Kenny Ortega is set to direct a straight-up remake to the movie that ordered us all not to put Baby in a corner. My money right now is on Shia LaBeouf for the Swayze role.
Ghost: They haven't gotten around to a cinematic remake yet, but Ghost the Musical has been receiving decent reviews on London's West End and will premiere in NYC next spring. Considering how much money the original made, it seems strange Hollywood hasn't gone back to this well already. Demi Moore probably still wants to play the lead.
Swayze's dilemma is somewhat unique. None of his movies are really what you'd call "iconic," like a Die Hard or a Lethal Weapon. Swayze was always something of a second-tier action star, so studios aren't quite as hesitant about exhuming his properties. I'm not sure I agree with this: surely what little name recognition capital they could leverage would be offset by the negative feelings generated by Swayze's fans, right?
Don't laugh. We are legion.
I admit, I'm protective of Swayze. Not just because he's a local, but because Swayze always came across as more sincere than his A-list counterparts. With guys like Schwarzenegger, whose entire career was built on a comically exaggerated masculine ideal to begin with, this isn't hard to understand, but even Willis and Gibson were always movie stars first, human beings second. You were seeing a BRUCE WILLIS movie or a MEL GIBSON movie. With Swayze, I don't know, you bought him as the character. Even in arguably subpar fare like Road House or Next of Kin.
Even I won't defend Steel Dawn, though. Jeez.
But this rush to reanimate the handful of good Swayze films is ghoulish, even by Hollywood's own "eat your young" standards. Case in point: Principal photography on the Red Dawn remake began in September 2009, the same month Swayze finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Keep it up at your own risk, Tinseltown. You remember what Pa Eckert said: