If you ask me this was the first film to have the bad guys wearing cool/freaky looking masks whilst carrying out their heists. So many films since this have used that simple formula and most have worked don't get me wrong, its a great visual method to ramp up the tension, but I think Bigelow was the first (one of the first) to use it.
Its funny really, one of the best action flicks made and its directed by a lady, it just adds to the coolness is all I'm saying, a woman knows how to make guys look macho. 'Predator' was the perfect 80's testosterone filled muscle vehicle, 'Point Break' was the perfect 90's testosterone filled heist vehicle.
Its hard not to love this simple film, everything and virtually everyone looks tanned toned and rebellious. All the main male and female characters glisten in the Cali sun as the blue Pacific waves crash against the smooth beaches. Bigelow manages to combine the grittiness of a bank thriller with the far out dudeness of the surfer world, its near perfect in every sense while the casting is one of those one off moments in cinematic history.
The film kinda makes you feel unfit, you feel you should be raising a sweat just to make yourself feel better. You actually feel like an nerdy outsider who isn't worthy enough to step foot on their fine golden beach, maybe I should be throwing myself out of planes and having barbecues by the moonlight. You feel like you need to be much cooler and reckless after you finish watching this.
Can you picture anyone else as the wild wave Buddha 'Bodhi'? of course you can't, this role was made for him. The same can be said for Reeves (Reeves as a surfer, flawless choice there brah hehe) as the naive stuck up suit wearing 'Utah' who almost turns tables on his grouchy partner 'Pappas' played by the rubber faced Nixon lookalike Busey. John C. McGinley is hilarious as 'Utah's' desk jockey chief and he has one of the most memorable lines ever :)
LeGros shines as the slightly twitchy unlikeable 'Roach' and who can forget the solid and rather tough looking Vincent Klyn as 'Warchild', epic badass right there.
This film pretty much raised the bar for all other action films ever since, it set a benchmark and has been copied so many times, more or less ('Fast n Furious'...just 'Point Break' with cars basically, nowhere near as good I might add). Some of the best sequences in an action film right here folks, the bank robberies, the fights, do I even need to mention the on foot chase sequence? how good is that? still!. On top of that then you have some really beautiful surf sequences and damn good skydiving sequences, Swayze did all his own stunts too.
The tag for the film is 100% pure adrenaline and boy does it mean it, a raging flick that never lets up and has the added bonus of really good characters that you care about. Apart from the hideous surfer language that seems really really dated and corny the film is damn near perfect.