Point Break (1991)

Point Break (1991)

Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze riding on the wave of 90s Hollywood action films, quite literally

The Very Best

8.5

Movie

Japan, United States of America
English
Action, Crime, Thriller
1991
FEMALE DIRECTOR, KATHRYN BIGELOW
Anthony Kiedis, Anthony Mangano, Betsy Lynn George
122 min

TLDR

A film that has either has been or will be responsible for your sexual awakening.

What it's about

Suspecting a gang of surfers is behind a string of bank robberies, the FBI sends agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) to infiltrate the group under the leadership of a charismatic bad boy named Bodhi (Patrick Swayze).

The take

Kathryn Bigelow has a knack for action-packed scenes without compromising on the affective qualities of film style. It is precisely this combination that makes her a rare gem in American cinema, where the values of entertainment soar high. Point Break is one such example of controlled chaos, impeccable framing, and a convincing use of fast-paced editing to really get you as close to the action as possible. But what gives the film its flavour is how developed and synced the characters are and the Reeves-Swayze duo here belongs in the pantheon of equally hot frenemies, providing an apt, but subtle comment on the dangers of toxic masculinity. 

What stands out

Point Break will change the way you see surfing forever. The main culprits are Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, who both trained alongside professional surfers for months before shooting to shoot their own scenes. Dedication and method aside, the centrality of surfing here is certainly ambivalent: it's both a metaphor for the life-or-death mentality of a criminal and the life philosophy of an anarchist. Vitality and mortality collide in the figure of the surfer, and all these scenes are so beautifully choreographed, shot, and edited, that you can boil down the film's message to them, no need for dialogue at all. In other words: that's symbolism made tactile for you.

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