July 12, 2011

Is "The Hurt Locker" a Spiritual Sequel To "Point Break"

"Point Break" was released 20 years ago today and I'm still shocked by the amount of people who have not seen it. I credit this massive tragedy to the fact that people consider just another 80's action film that gets lumped in with "Cobra," "Road House," and "Commando" (Note the writers at THISLALIFE support those films). And while "Point Break" does have a certain 80's vibe to it (see Bodhi's hair brah) it is actually way more than a standard 80's action flick, in fact it has a lot in common with 2009 best picture winner "The Hurt Locker."

Both films examine the seductive rush of pushing oneself to the edge. Think of Bodhi's famous line in "Point Break,"- "It's not tragic to die doing what you love." This theme of men who are seduced by the flirting with power and death runs through all Bigelow's films, but is most prevalent in "Point Break" and "The Hurt Locker." Both films lack a clear antagonist, because the true antagonist lives withint the broken heroes. The antagonist bomb maker in "The Hurt Locker" is never found and Bodhi, the pseudo antagonist in "Point Break" is apprehended but never has to answer to his crimes. There's no real closure because their is no real bad guy.

Think about the final scenes of each film. In "Point Break," Utah reveals he has never stopped searching (or surfing) for Bodhi, who is basically the ultimate rush personified. In "The Hurt Locker" Renner's character is talking to his child and says that "there is only one thing he knows he loves," cut to Renner back in the field...on the edge. This theme of the ultimate is easier to recognize in "The Hurt Locker," but it's there in "Point Break," it's just wrapped in an extreme sports package!

While both films focus on a man's drive to the edge in the pursuit of saving lives/catching bad guys, I know "The Hurt Locker" is a superior film. I also don't have to remind anyone that "Point Break" was also produced by cinematic titan James Cameron, which gives the surf bank robbing masterpiece even more credibility. So on this 20th Anniversay, let's give Point Break the respect it deserves...after all good things come in twos.....so.......GIMME TWO!!

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