100% Pure Adrenaline.
Hell yeah! Let’s take a much needed break from the choonage for a bit and get back to the movies.
Praised and parodied by countless films (Hot Fuzz, mate), Point Break is the 1991 directorial breakthrough for Kathryn Bigelow, who went on stun audiences with films like The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, in which a silly-named FBI agent, Johnny Utah, goes undercover in a surfer crew, led by a silly-named surfer dude, Bohdi, who are under suspicion for a series of bank robberies. With Keanu Reeves and the late Patrick Swayze in each lead role respectively, you know this film’s gonna try its utmost to kick your ass.
From the offset, Bigelow sets the tone of mindless machismo with the film opening on chaboi Utah shooting the hell out of some practice targets in the rain. As you can expect, this kind of thing almost defines the film throughout its runtime. Well, that and the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaves duuuuuuude. Indeedly, the only thing we see more of than unintelligible screaming and Predator levels of bro time is your “free spirit” and being “one with the break”. While it does set the film apart from others in the heist/crime genre, it did seem a bit gimmicky at points, for me.
Regardless, the heists and crime aspect of the film did feel fully fleshed out and engaging, with there being a simple, albeit suspenseful, plot that unraveled really well in the second act of the film, leaving us with an adrenaline-fueled finale. While the action didn’t come as thick as I would’ve liked it to, with a lot of time being devoted to metaphors about wind and stuff, when it did come, it came fast. There’s a nice balance between gunfights and fistfights, something rarely seen in many great action films, and one of the best foot chases this side of the Bourne trilogy (because the crap ones don’t count). However, we also got a lot of great stunts and extreme sports, with the skydiving scene being particularly cool. It’s a film that simultaneously makes you want be in it but have nothing to do with it.
For the most part, the performances were fine. However, some were definitely better than others. A good example of this is in the two leads, Reeves and Swayze. Now, let’s be honest, Keanu Reeves is a cool son-of-a-somethingorother, but he isn’t exactly the most versatile actor in the world. Prime example is his turn here, where I couldn’t help thinking that he almost had a B-movie level of badness to his delivery. This isn’t necessarily a dig, but I doubt it was what he was looking for. Then, we have Swayze. Now, let’s be honest, Patrick Swayze was a cool son-of-a-somethingorother, and he’s proven himself to be more versatile than people remember, with him putting in great turns in films like Dirty Dancing and Donnie Darko, as well as stuff like this and Roadhouse. He is a cool dude here though, so I guess it wasn’t much effort to play. We’ve also got great turns from Gary Busey, who’s always a joy to watch, and Lori Petty, who avoids the general “love interest” archetypes to bring us something all-round refreshing.
Overall, Point Break is a fine film, if a little over hyped by people in their 40s. It’s got great action and crime storylines, buckets of manly man-ness and nice helpings of kick-ass sequences. However, this is let down by a kinda off performance from Keanu Reeves, leading to an almost campy tone over the whole thing.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations