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Point Break (1991)


Keanu Reeves stars in Point Break as Johnny Utah, a former star college quarterback turned FBI agent. He must infiltrate the surfing community of southern California and discover who is behind a series of seasonal bank robberies. Gary Busey is agent Pappas, Johnny’s partner who has been working the case for years. Patrick Swayze plays Bodhi, the leader of a tight-knit group of surfers.

Bodhi is very spiritual, waxing poetically about nature and balance and being one with the wave. Johnny learns to accept some of the surfer lifestyle and charts his own course in life for the first time. Johnny even falls in love with Tyler, Lori Petty. The love story is a small part of the movie and is somewhat believable. There is another ‘love story’ between Johnny and Bodhi though.

Johnny begins to lose himself in the surfing culture and his judgment is clouded through his growing admiration for Bodhi. It jeopardizes the case, but Pappas helps defend him from the higherups. The admiration between Johnny and Bodhi goes too far at the end of the film. The end of the movie did not fit well in the complete picture. Johnny throws his badge into the ocean and walks away from his new life despite spending months on the road searching for the bank robbers. If anyone is going to end up in handcuffs at the end of the film, it will probably be Johnny Utah.

Point Break is a testosterone-driven, action sports crime drama. The casting works well as all of the characters fit well into their roles and react to each other with real chemistry. Director Kathryn Bigelow does a great job bringing surfing and sky diving to the big screen. It is amazing what she accomplished in 1991, decades before GoPros and other small waterproof cameras were a thing. In 2010 Bigelow was the first woman to win an Oscar for directing The Hurt Locker. This film is well-executed even with a somewhat comical subject matter. Point Break is an entertaining way to spend a few lazy weekend afternoons hours.

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