Point Break (1991)
Dir: Kathryn Bigelow
The Fast and the Furious… but wetter!
It’s the 85th Academy Awards this coming Sunday, with Kathryn Bigelow nominated for her latest film ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, which I won’t get a chance to see until next month, so I decided to watch one of her earlier films. I’ve already seen ‘The Hurt Locker’ but this is quite different.
Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is a newly trained FBI agent and is assigned to work on tracking down a group of bank robbers known as the ‘Ex-Presidents’ as they rob banks wearing rubber masks of presidents such as Nixon and Reagan and refer to each other by those as aliases. The agent who has been working on the case for a while (Gary Busey) has a theory that the gang are surfers, and Utah (who was a college American football player) is tasked with taking up surfing and getting into the scene to find the suspects. Along the way he forms a bond of sorts with a surfing guru (Patrick Swayze), and meets a surfer chick, which leads him into trouble and tests his loyalties between his new friends, his girl, and his job.
See what I mean about it being a wetter ‘The Fast and the Furious’?
Keanu Reeves wasn’t the first choice to play the lead role apparently, but I don’t know why not. If there’s any actor in the 90’s who could play a surfer type, it had to be the man who just two years before this was Ted “Theodore” Logan… Wyld Stallyn’s rule!
Admit it, you just played an air guitar didn’t you?…
The film really mixes in large sections of surfing that are excellently filmed and would appease most viewers who are fans of riding the waves, but at the backbone of this is a FBI action story, and there are the shoot-outs, fights and chases to fulfil the expectations of that genre too.