Point Break is unmistakably one of the most defining action movies of the ’90s but, being a teenager when I saw it, those wouldn’t have been my words. This movie resonates a lot in my mind for many reasons.
Summer of 1991 and, I was a five years old kid watching The Lost Boys over and over again by the time Point Break hit the theaters. This is a very well accomplished action-packed story of cool surfers living big and defying the system while robbing it off in a mocking way using ex-president’s masks, an uncommon partnership between agents Utah and Pappas but unfortunately, was thrown away from the public’s attention by Titanic – I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.
The bad guys in this film are no great villains like Hans Gruber nor do he have a Tommy Lee Jones’ US Marshall but, you cannot say that Bodhi, Utah or Pappas characters are dull ones. They even have Anthony Kiedis playing a small part as Tone and, he shoots his own foot off, ouch!
You get, instead, some easy to relate characters that make the whole package an outstanding movie. From one side, there is Utah, the young hot-head rookie that gets partnered with an old burned out agent Pappas, a funny couple that ends up playing along with nice chemistry between them and you have to admit that Gary Busey plays pretty well the role of an old mentor for Keanu Reeves after portraying the bad guy in 1987 Lethal Weapon.
The ex-presidents, a surfers brotherhood and their perfect zen-ish bad guy leader, Bodhi, who is all about the spiritual perspective of living and not falling into the grinder that life is, roaming free and not hurting anybody while doing so (up until the end). The modern savage, a real searcher.
What about the action scenes?
Action thriller redefined. If there are memorable action moments in movies history, you have got to put the foot chase amongst them. This 4 minutes long scene between the blue-eyed zen criminal and the rookie Johnny Utah that we get to see from both chased and chasee perspectives, jumping over houses, throwing dogs as obstacles and, we cannot forget that old lady with her broom as a weapon, a classic. There is another scene, one of my favorites not only because of the movie but the feeling that it sends off, yeah, skydiving sir. To this day, I am still looking for a chance to jump off in a parachute and evolve to skydiving.
That scene felt so beautiful and calm, peaceful yet with so much adrenaline on the screen that you can’t avoid the need to try it, add to it the level of bonding that Utah and the boys had by that moment on film, amazing photograph.
One must recognize that this well earned critically-acclaimed film has that title not only because of their cast (Busey, Reeves, Swayze) but mostly because of the great work that Kathryn Bigalow accomplish with her direction. A not-at-all complicated plot plus Bigalow’s visualization of the screenplay and it’s artistic/dramatic aspects along with the powerful chemistry that all characters have with each other.
Let’s talk about that bromance.
This is the first bromance ever to be registered in the history of all things. It was, at first sight, it was deep and it was fast, so it is that Tyler, (Utah’s surfer girlfriend) gets left behind as soon as he and Bodhi bond after he teaches him to surf and the spirituality that comes with riding a wave.
The more time that Utah spends in Bodhi and Tyler’s world, the more strong this bromance becomes and suddenly Utah realizes that his zen-happy-bro-surfer and his tribe is, in fact, the ghosts he has been looking chasing but, his love for Tyler and his bromance places him in a tight spot, he even has the chance to finish the job a few times but, who would shot those beautiful deep expressive eyes?
In a nutshell, this is one of if not the best ’90s action movie, with a plot that is easy to follow through, no evil plan to decipher, no ambiguous characters but, really easy to relate to actually and you just go with the flow, getting smacked in the face with a fist full of adrenaline. POW!
“Vaya con Dios”