2020 Blind Spot Series: Point Break (1991)

It has been so long since I added Kathryn Bigelow's Point Break on my watchlist that I completely forgot what the film was about and went it knowing only one thing, that it was about surfing. So you can get my surprise and then disappointment when the film turned out to be a predictable action-crime thriller. 

Set in Los Angeles, California, the film opens with a bank robbery carried out by the Ex-Presidents, a gang of thieves who wears rubber masks of former Presidents and always get away from the crime scene before the cops show up. 

Soon after, rookie FBI Special Agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) gets partnered with Angelo Pappas (Gary Busey), an experienced Agent who has a theory about the Ex-Presidents. There are many factors that make Pappas believe the robbers could be surfers and, as Utah supports his theory, decides to send the rookie undercover as a surfer. 

After a rough start, Utah befriends a tough, tomboy girl, Tyler (Lori Petty), who eventually agrees to teach him to surf and then introduces him to her group of surfer friends. This is when Utah meets Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), a spiritual surfer who draws Utah into his lifestyle.

This story is one of the many reasons Point Break didn't work for me. Not only it makes very little sense and features many plot holes, but, as I mentioned above, it's incredibly predictable from start to finish and it is not particularly compelling either. 

The characters are also pretty flawed, which doesn't mean they are three-dimensional, developed character with flaws, but poorly written, clich├ęd, bland characters. Not to mention how unlikeable dim-witted Johnny Utah is, so much so that he makes all the villains lovable. But I guess that's not entirely on the writers, but rather on the actors and, as expected, Keanu Reeves gives a dreadful performance in the role of the FBI Agent. Not only his wooden, cartoonish performance makes him not believable as a federal agent, but it makes the film almost unbearable. Patrick Swayze isn't much better. While his acting isn't as dreadful, he simply doesn't bring to the screen — or he simply doesn't have — what it takes to make a cold-blooded criminal and as a result, he looks more like a kid who wants to have fun. 

The biggest disappointment, however, comes from Kathryn Bigelow because this is certainly not the filmmaking I was expecting from the woman behind the two compelling The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty

6 comments :

  1. This is a film that you don't take seriously. Plus, it's so cool as hell as long as you embrace the unintentionally homoeroticism. And it's got a cameo from Anthony Keidis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers!

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    1. It's not a film for me then. I'm not really into the so-bad-it's-good genre.

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  2. I only watched this for the first time fairly recently myself. I did enjoy it but I knew what to expect. The 2015 remake is DREADFUL just to warn you!

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    1. I'm actually tempted to watch it to see how bad it is lol.

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  3. I have to admit I have a real soft spot for this one. It hasn't aged particularly well in spots but I still get a kick out of it. Glad you gave it a shot though.

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    1. Believe it or not, I really wanted it to be good.

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