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Point Break Reviews

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July 27, 2014
Tirando o Speed, o melhor filme com o Keanu Reeves!
July 9, 2014
Despite a hypnotic performance from Patrick Swayze, Point Break fails to successfully mix it's philosophy and action.
July 8, 2014
"Bigelow's picture is a feast for the eyes, but we watch movies with more than our eyes. She seduces us, then asks us to be bimbos." But what is so bad about being a bimbo after all? In the larger scheme of things, I consider this a comedy, and though it lacks the nuances of, say, Showgirls, it is surprisingly delicate for its kind. Should I thank Bigelow for the visual, or should I thank the scriptwriters for not being afraid of admitting their hilarious badness?
March 6, 2014
In addition to reviews of newer films, I'd also like to do reviews of older movies that I'm now catching up on because I never saw them growing up. Some of these are classic films such as Citizen Kane, others are cult classics that I simply hadn't heard of until I got more into cinema, and the remainder are films that were recommended to me by either friends, websites, or "best of" lists online. I thought that I would start this series of "retro reviews" by summing up my thoughts on Point Break, one of the films that put Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow on the map.

Point Break stars Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah, a former college football star who is now working with the FBI on the coast of California. The nearby area has experienced a set of bank robberies performed by a gang called the Ex-Presidents, who wear masks of several different Commanders-in-chief to protect their identities. After getting a lead from his partner Agent Pappas (played by Gary Busey) that the Ex-Presidents might be surfers, Utah buys himself a board and hits the waves in an attempt to learn more about the local wave riders. Johnny soon befriends another surfer named Bodhi, played by Patrick Swayze, along with his group of friends. The situation becomes more difficult, however, when Johnny realizes that the very friends that he has made might be the same people who he hit the waves to find in the first place.

Point Break is, first and foremost, an action film, and in that realm, it succeeds in spades. From the Ex-Presidents' first robbery to the nail-biting final segment, Point Break is a great thrill ride. The violence feels real, the danger is intense, and we see all the trappings of a great action film. This movie of course had lots of surfing scenes, as well, which I was also very impressed by. There are several films that I've seen that have made me wish that I grew up in California, and this was definitely one of them. The action and surfing went right along with the plot and never felt superfluous, even during the more self-indulgently violent sections.

I also have to point out that most of the acting in this film is great. Patrick Swayze does a great job as the Eastern philosophy-reciting Bodhi, and looks the part of surfer with his shaggy hair and stubbly beard. I was also impressed with Lori Petty, who plays Utah's surfing instructor and love interest, Tyler. Busey, as always, was very entertaining to watch onscreen, and as crazy as he has ever been. I'm sure that while casting this movie, the filmmakers were looking for a performer who could act crazy, but then just said, "Wait, why don't we just sign on Gary Busey?"

You can see above that I said that I enjoyed most of the acting in the film, and that's because I wasn't very impressed by, you guessed it, Keanu Reeves. In recent years, it seems as if Reeves and Nicolas Cage are in stiff competition for being the internet's most hated actor, but the difference between the two, in my opinion, is that Cage actually has some great performances under his belt to counteract all of the bad ones. Reeves doesn't have that same kind of tenure. Every single line that Reeves delivers is said with the exact same blank facial expression, regardless of his manner of voice. Even when he's yelling at someone, his face doesn't look angry at all. I don't think that he ever smiles, either, even when he's with Petty's character. He just has that blank, dumbfounded expression that he has in every single role that he's ever done (save Bill and Ted). I would be able to let this go if he wasn't onscreen much, but unfortunately, he is the main character, and we have to see him throughout the entire film.

Besides that, the only other thing that set the movie back a bit was the fact that it didn't feel quite as good as action films such as Die Hard or the Bourne trilogy. Bigelow's direction was great for the most part, but there were several scenes that felt like they could have been done a bit better. The action and surfing scenes, however, were almost perfect, and overall, I'd say that Point Break was an enjoyable time, and a great choice for any guy's night.
June 24, 2014
Bill & Ted's Detective Adventure in the Surf. I suffered this at a free sneak preview and wanted to riff it from the first frame. Not for the comically impaired!
June 16, 2014
Bigelow's direction raises this slightly above the usual action flick status, although the whole thing is really rather ridiculous.
January 18, 2014
Without a doubt, one of the best action movies of the 90s.
May 27, 2014
So ridiculous that it's simply infectious. Pure fun.
May 26, 2014
Nice cameo Gloria :)
May 24, 2014
One of the finest cinematic works of the modern era.
May 23, 2014
Fun movie. True characters and captured that thrilling California beach vibe in a way beyond Hollywood. Patrick Swayze performed. Gratuitous combat scenes and awful Keanu acting aside. Very enjoyable, over-the-top film.
May 13, 2014
Smart, funny and an action-packed thrill ride, Point Break delivers a major rush of energy between its stellar cast thanks to the strong performances by Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves.
VultureVault
May 10, 2014
This is a true classic. An A+ Action picture all the way! Kathryn Bigelow directs with sheer ferocity and the performances from all involved are top notch quality. Also a VERY fitting film for summer.
April 30, 2014
Talk about iconic 90s action movies. This was one of the most popular movies of the decade and for good reason. Football players catching bank robbing surfers? How awesome is that? It has some dumb moments but the action more than makes up for it.
Cinema-Maniac
Cinema-Maniac

Super Reviewer

April 28, 2014
Point Break in a way is a precursor to "The Fast and the Furious". Both films share nearly identical plot lines; a character whose life philosophy for his life's passion intrigues the protagonist, undercover cop gets into a specific extreme sport, protagonist has a time limit to capture his culprit, and if continue to mention more similarities would ruin the film for newcomers. Yet, "Point Break" ends out being the better film because it understands it story and characters that in the grand scheme of nonsensical material works in sync with how everything structure on a technical level and in story telling.

Point Break is about an FBI agent going undercover to catch a gang of bank robbers who may be surfers. Build around a preposterous assumption by an experienced FBI agent once it gets started logic never enter. It knows this poking fun of itself with flimsy gathering of evidence like examining the tan line of a bank robber behind in surveillance footage. Once it addresses the sillier side of its evidence to catch it criminals it goes back to business. For as silly as the plot gets it characters are more rooted in the world. Specifically our protagonist, Johnny Utah, who despite being the hero is inept in his job. He's the different kind of action hero who screw ups contribute in worsening his current dilemma and avoids using an organ called the brain. Utah doesn't sound so much like a hero as he does a fumbling idiot. However, with the structure of the plot his action goes along with the philosophy the criminal shares. Much in line with the ebb and flow of a wave; tension mounts slowly building to a climax each time, which is slightly resolved in an abrupt crash until the next pique. Formulaic as the script make itself be goes hand in hand with the views presented by its characters. Always searching for the next adrenaline rush before it crashes and burn. Both the hero and antiheroes share their flaws resulting in consequences on both side. Characterization is plentiful giving more meaning to the action, though never sympathetic given the tonal switch it characters can cause. Although, most of Utah development are later turned into plot devices and what occurs to him follows some predictable guidelines for any film that follows an undercover agent. These characters are supported by some great dialogue that manage to get a laugh because of nothing the sort would be things the action genre would expect to produce.

Keanu Reeves persona perfectly matches the protagonist he portrays. Reeves never vocalizes a range of emotions when speaking, but his demeanor to ease from being a care free surfer to full on hard boiled FBI agent is believable. No matter how much Reeves gets beaten in an action scene whenever his character is allowed a finer moment he sells it. Patrick Swayze is eccentric as an antihero. He's loose whenever he speaks philosophical on surfing the waves as his life meaning. Reading such lines and given them as much heart no matter how silly it might sound to non surfers. When needed too Swayze can turn a complete one-eighty that borderline on adrenaline addict whose needs more. Lori Petty plays the token love interest. She's not given much range in the kind of scenes she gets either being loose or life threatening dramatic. Her performance is good inspite of the lack of range she's offer. Gary Busey wisecracks hilariously throughout playing off greatly of from an equally funny John C. McGinley. Kathryn Bigelow with vigorous direction knows how to modulate when it comes to action. While not impressive or big in scale are entirely filled with stunt work and pyrotechnics-driven, as we see skydiving, surfing, crazy stunts, and one good on-foot chases through many location. The action presented remain clear building tension flowing like a wave. Cinematographer Donald Peterman creates camerawork to draw us into its mindset. Shots of the surfing and surfers are close-ups, creating an immediate and intimate bond for the audience are captured with graceful camera movement.

Point Break is preposterous, and that is exactly why it works. On the surface what seen is as a dumb action movie is given more thought by smart filmmakers. The heroes and antiheroes are fleshed out given more meaning to their actions applying more weight to their consequences. Acting wise there's not memorable performance from Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, but both fit the parts with their onscreen persona being natural for the characters they portray. It understands the philosophy of it characters life passion incorporating it into the structure of how it's made working in perfect zen.
June 24, 2012
"Utah! Gimme two!" classic
J M.
April 18, 2014
"Good action... suspense... & an all star cast of good actors..."

*****1/2

The film is about pushing the envelope with radical living & things that are against the law; for the sake: of being radical? No for attaining the: spiritual, supernatural, animation... Something that few people in the world will ever have, or ever find...

Some of the pluses (+) the film had were good action scenes: good humor at the appropriate times, suspense & an all star cast of good actors.

Some of the minuses to this movie were a not so good soundtrack; parts of the plot were a little too far out there to be believable, & the climax predictable to many viewers; all in all it did, not takeaway, the entertaining invigoration.

~

I give this action film an A - (Amazing)
April 18, 2014
Depending you're into extreme sport or not, this is the film of a generation
April 17, 2014
Kathryn Bigelow was a different director back in 1991. Before the success of The Hurt Locker (2009) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012), she was making films that weren't deemed Academy Award worthy. She was cutting her teeth with raw unflinching action flicks like Blue Steel (1989) and this screw loose guilty pleasure known as Point Break. I've seen it many times and honestly it just never gets old. It belongs in a time capsule. Point Break represents a lot of beliefs I have about the possibility of what an action film can be because it goes completely over the top and throws everything in it but the kitchen sink. Yes, it's a movie that is choppy in shape and form. But it has bombastic originality along with a handful of important jaw dropping key scenes that make up for its shortcomings. Initially, when I first set foot in the theater over 20 years ago for my first screening of Point Break, I was dumbfounded. I was completely taken aback by the casting (Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze), the plot, and the fact that the initial viewing left me cold, like I had seen a film that an average audience would stay away from (the theater was small, it was Friday night, and there were 8-10 people in the seats). Over time, I've grown to surrender to Point Break's giddiness as full blown cinema. It stands the test of time and breaks every film making rule in the book. You think the director, the stars, or the production staff cared, well they didn't. I have one word for these people, bravo!

The story begins with our hero, Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves in a his first starring action film role) entering his first day as a FBI agent in sunny Los Angeles. Right away, he gets paired with an over the hill aging veteran named Angelo Papas (played with improv overload by the likable Gary Busey). The two of them team up to try and catch a group of bank robbers who may or may not be surfers. Oh and I almost forgot, they also dress up as the ex-presidents with masks and all, only taking money out of the cash registers (apparently the vault takes too much time). Throughout the full running time of two pulse pounding hours, Reeves character befriends a local named Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) and romances a spunky surfer girl Tyler Endicott (Lori Petty) all the while going undercover and bruising his "whoooaaa" like ego in the process. I'm not gonna lie, his performance demands attention. As a actor, he tends to be as wooden as aged oak but he's likable in "Break." Bigelow saw something in Reeves that I think most directors would have dismissed as a veritable disaster. But she gave him his shot and he went on to shine later in Speed and the Matrix movies. Also, the pairing of Busey and Reeves as law enforcement associates is something I initially thought was some kind of nocturnal joke, but it works. Busey, with his purly white fanged teeth, runs amok with this character and becomes Utah's scary, perverse uncle. As the movie takes a lot of trippy twists and turns, the two of them form a friendship based on polar opposite attraction. It's the key to the film I think because ultimately it's a buddy cop yarn just like Lethal Weapon (1987) and 48 Hours (1982).

Buddy cops movies aside, Point Break is pure adrenaline and has a harrowing intensity that shows in three key scenes: the sting operation of a drug house followed by mistaken identity, the skydiving scene with no parachutes, and the apprehension of the villain in Austrailia's nastiest waters. I can say that a cult following this flick garnished, is well deserved. Kathyrn Bigelow, a maverick back then and an Academy darling now, deserves praise this early 90's endeavor. She directed Point Break with reckless abandon and I'm proud to say it owns a special place in my eccentric collection of well worn DVDs.
April 16, 2014
A solid action flick that has excellent bank heist scenes and a fun villain in Patrick Swayze
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