Film Review: Action Point
As I usually am, I’m once again late to the party!
Action Point was originally released to theaters in June of 2018 and was quickly considered to be a box office flop as it earned 14 million dollars less then it’s production costs – YIKES! But alas, Amazon Prime may be able to breathe some new life into this one.
While watching an old episode of Hot Ones featuring Johnny Knoxville as the guest, he talked about his movie Action Point; a film he made after seeing Matt Robertson's documentary The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever about a real place in the 1970s that was known for their dangerous rides: go-karts that would reach upwards of 50MPH, the cannonball loop waterslide with it’s 360 degree loop, etc.
You’re already going to have pre-conceived notions that this is going to be like Jackass when you see that this stars Knoxville and Chris Pontius, and while there are certainly some of those types of moments spread throughout the film, this one goes a little deeper than that.
The story revolves around Action Point’s owner D.C. (played by Knoxville), but in a move reminiscent of the popular movie The Princess Bride, he is babysitting his granddaughter in present day and telling her the story of the old amusement park that he used to operate and how her mom wasn’t always so uptight – this is where the film finds its heart. When you cut through the crazy stunts and story about the amusement park’s fight to keep its gates open, you find that this is mainly about a father and daughter trying to connect as she’s growing up through her most formative teenage summer.
Underneath this main storyline, though, is something that looks strikingly familiar to the punk rock scene. The amusement park took in the outsider kids and gave them jobs, let them have a place to fit in together, and gave them the type of freedom that allowed them to discover their own self-worth. As a bonus, you also get a soundtrack that includes “Janie Jones” by The Clash, “Smash It Up” by The Damned, and Sham 69’s “If the Kids Are United.”
Action Point was never going to break box office records, but to instantly write it off as “not Jackass” isn’t really all that fair. There’s heart buried in this film at every turn and it also gives us a refreshing nostalgic look back to a time when things were much looser and a lot more fun; reminders that we all probably need to see in today’s crazy, mixed up world!