Point Break is an American crime thriller based in a fictitious surfing community somewhere on the California coast. Made in 1991, it is the story of a rookie FBI agent named Johnny Utah who is investigating a series of local bank robberies. The title of the movie refers to a term used by surfers to describe what happens when a large wave hits a point of land jutting out from the coastline, causing the wave to break
The film was a box office success, with an $83.5 million gross and a budget of $24 million, and it has subsequently gained cult status. I was interested in seeing it because it has been held up as a classic by the last generation of white middle-class men, who also felt that it was better than the modern version that was made in 2015. I'm afraid to say that I was not impressed by the movie. Point Break (1991) has not withstood the test of time and it is a disappointment.
It was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who has since gained considerable directing credibility by making The Hurt Locker (2008) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012). She was married to James Cameron, who was the executive producer for Point Break and who is recognized for such films as Titanic, Terminator and Terminator 2.
The film stars Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey.
Reeves plays the film's hero, the agent who goes undercover to infiltrate the gang of surfers that are committing the robberies and who develops a complex relationship with Bodhi (Swayze), the charismatic leader of the gang. Reeves is not convincing in his role and gives a very wooden performance.
Lori Petty, who is Reeves' girlfriend in the film, is a decent actress, but there is no chemistry between the two at all. She has worked pretty steadily in film but tends to pick more quirky films such as A League of Their Own, Tank Girl, and Pray for Rock and Roll.
Gary Busey gives a surprisingly good performance as Utah's FBI partner, but has since gone on to accept other roles (Under Siege, Predator II, Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas) that have done little to improve his reputation as a serious actor.
Patrick Swayze plays the villain and probably gives the best performance in the film, but he doesn't get nearly enough screen time. Swayze had an extensive acting career starting at the age of 27 with a small role in the film Skatetown, USA (1979) and a television debut in M*A*S*H (1981). He danced professionally until his move to film, and his talent as a dancer landed him the role of Johnny Castle, dance instructor, in the hit Dirty Dancing (1987). He received his first Golden Globe nomination for Dirty Dancing and a second for Ghost, which proved to be the highest-grossing film of 1990. Unfortunately, his subsequent films like Point Break (1991), City of Joy (1992) and Waking Up in Reno (2002) were not as successful. Sadly, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008 and died in 2009.
The film is not of great quality. If you want to see a decent heist movie, watch Heat or The Score both featuring Robert DeNiro. If you want to see more of Patrick Swayze at his best, view Dirty Dancing and Ghost. You won't be disappointed.