I wasn’t paying attention when I saw the trailers for Action Point. If I had, I would have seen that it was made by Johnny Knoxville, co-creator and star of Jackass and that might have helped me make a more informed decision. But I missed that and really didn’t want to see Adrift (it looked both boring and stressful) so I thought maybe Action Point might be a little like Dazed and Confused or Little Miss Sunshine or something. I don’t know. If it strikes you as odd that I’m justifying my movie choice in the opening paragraph of my review (like maybe that’s a really bad sign) you are correct. I didn’t like it.
A daredevil designs and operates his own theme park with his friends.
That’s not to say that there isn’t genius in Action Point. There was definitely genius there. The stunts were top notch and more than once I found myself chuckling, wincing or both. Also the portrayal of a complete disregard for safety was actually pretty funny to me. There was a nostalgia vibe here, a callback to a simpler time while also reminding us exactly why those times are long and thankfully past. That’s not nothing. There was a lot of potential there for a really good nostalgia flick and it just didn’t pan out.
You can’t make a movie out of just Stunts and Nostalgia. You need a Plot. I didn’t care about the characters at all. Whatever happened to them didn’t mean much. The characters were roughly the same at the beginning of the film as at the end. Some Themes wouldn’t hurt, either. They could have said something about Individual Freedom vs The Nanny State or maybe there could have been a coming of age story or even just remade the movie PCU in some fashion.
Instead we got a weak plot that wandered aimlessly from stunt to stunt. When it tried to be funny (and at times it did), it didn’t work well. I didn’t like the acting, particularly. I especially didn’t like the make-up – Grandpa D.C., the narrator of the film, verged on the the Uncanny Valley for me. The whole thing just screamed ‘low budget’, which, as it turns out, was exactly the case. According to Wikipedia, Action Point was made for $19M and if you factor that in, I guess it couldn’t have been that bad. Although if you want to talk low budget, The Conjuring was $20M, Little Miss Sunshine was $8M and The Purge was just $3M. I don’t know what they spent their money on, but if they had spent more of that on the writing, it could have been much better.
So is Action Point worth watching? No, god no. It’s just an extended version of its own trailer. I don’t blame the makers of the film for this, really. They didn’t have a whole lot to work with and it would have taken someone as good at writing as they are at physical comedy to turn this thing around. Maybe it’s fair to say I wasn’t drunk enough to enjoy Action Point. The correct level of Drunkenness would have been enough to laugh at the jokes until I got bored and to stumble out.