Point break is the 1991 cult film, about a group of surfers robbing banks to fund their “vacations”. Their unique style and slick moves to finish the whole process within a time period of 90 seconds became a subject of interest for the police.
Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is a young and enthusiastic FBI agent who will stop at nothing to solve any challenge that comes his way. Over a period of 3 years, 28 banks were robbed by a group of men who wore the masks of American Ex-vice presidents. They complete their task within 90 seconds, emptying only the cash drawers instead of going for the vaults. Johnny is assigned to assist FBI agent Angelo Pappas (Gary Busey) who suspect that a team of highly trained surfers are behind these bank robberies. Johnny begins his surfing training with the help of an expert Tyler Endicott (Lori Petty) and investigations along the beach side. During all this he is introduced to a passionate surfer Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) and his gang who take him around for different adventure sports.
As such, the movie is not perfect as there are several cringing plot holes. Like how come, nobody else believed Pappas theory about surfers. Since the robberies took place at an alarming rate and Pappas revealed evidence that clearly justified his views, unless the other officers are ignorant, it is rather dumb. Also, why can’t FBI officers wear bullet-proof vests at all times, It worked well in Utah’s case where he was shot multiple times… And the script is focussed on the pacing so much that there was no soul to the relationship between Tyler and Bodhi.
Patrick Swayze did a fantastic job as Bodhi. Bodhi has good depth in his anti-hero portrayal and we get to see a side that is different from typical bank robbery story. Keanu Reeves tried to be as lively as possible, only tried. He is just a pretty face when it comes to combination scenes with Swayze or Gary Busey, however,his dedication is seen as he sticks to his character image. Gary Busey delivered his standard performance. Lori Petty is charming and flexible in her role, but as usual for an action film of the ’90s, Tyler is reduced to a damsel in distress.
Academy award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow established herself with the cult status of point break. Her passion and interest for action is visible in each of the action sequences. The surfing scenes were shot artistically where the surfers could show off their unique moves along the waves. The action scenes are done with artistic touch as well as adrenaline worthy anticipation. Not to mention, the memorable scene where Utah fires his gun into the air as he could not shoot the person he admires so much.
The combination of cinematography and editing worked well to bring about the apt pacing. Point break is an enjoyable film but it might have a good appeal only during the initial view.
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