The key question that this project raises is one that those involved in the film industry rarely seem to stop and ask themselves: Why?
Why are they doing this? True, the endless barrage of remakes and reboots sometimes rake in heavy profits. Sometimes, they also flop. Often those that fail are the ones that seemed pointless to begin with.
The whole package is something like a zeitgeist version of Heat – a well-paced, action-packed crime flick with the personality of a ridiculous, bullet-based and badly made 80s cop caper. It also shares the same sort of bromance narrative between cop and criminal that makes it impossible not to root for the latter at least some of the time, complete with the final handshake scene to be mulled over by a sombre audience – a few years before Heat gave us Pacino holding a dying De Niro’s hand amidst the runway lights of LAX, Point Break gave us Patrick Swayze surfing himself to death off the coast of Australia as Reeves stood in the rain and watched. If that’s not the best onscreen departure ever, who knows what is.
Not that they haven’t messed with the plot as well, of course. Details have been sparse so far, but an official press release stated that the film will be set “in the word of extreme sports”. As this is being typed, Vin Diesel is presumably in talks for the lead role.
As yet no director has been confirmed, either, but the script’s apparent fast-track production status suggests that the powers at be are feeling awfully confident about it. The original, whilst not exactly high-brow, remains Kathryn Bigelow’s highest-grossing film to date, so this is no easy task.
At this stage, it’s impossible to tell how the final film is going to look. For such a bare-bones project, it’s been remarkably well publicised and is more likely than not to be setting itself up for a fall. Once in a while, Hollywood needs to ask Why?, especially before fidgeting with an era-perfect piece of cinema and the potential favourite film of a generation.