A rookie F.B.I. agent goes undercover to stop a gang
of surfers who moonlight as successful bank robbers.
Point Break (1991)
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Written by W. Peter Iliff
Starring Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey,
John C. McGinley, Lori Petty, James Le Gros, Lee Tergesen
Point Break is one of those iconic, cheesy action flicks that everyone should see at least once. It's one of Constable Danny Butterman's favorite movies, right next to Bad Boys II. I've seen clips here and there, particularly of Keanu Reeves screaming "I am an F.B.I. agent!" with a hilariously stilted delivery. So, knowing that, I didn't expect it to hold up. But, damn. What a kick-ass action thriller. Over the top, cheesy as hell, but wildly entertaining from beginning to end. I also didn't count on seeing John C. McGinley as a complete dick, which he always does well. Just a complete surprise on all counts.
Reeves is Johnny Utah (seriously, that's his real name), a fresh from the academy F.B.I. agent who is assigned to bank robbery. He's partnered with crazy old Angelo Pappas (Busey), who has been after a professional gang of thieves called the Ex-Presidents for years. His wild theory is that they're surfers, and that pans out when Utah goes undercover in the L.A. beach community and meets Bodhi (Swayze), a zen master on the board who turns out to be the Ex-Presidents' leader. But Utah and Bodhi become friends, and Utah must make a difficult decision about how to proceed with the case. The film is so corny that you can't help but smile, and the action sequences are actually really badass, and I credit that to future Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow.
Point Break, surprisingly, still holds up. Keanu Reeves does a great job at playing a character that is essentially the combination of Jack Traven and Ted "Theodore" Logan, complete with "surfer dude" twang in his voice. Swayze, on the other hand, is a great villain with layers, who you sympathize with at times. The characters are the strongest aspect of the film, and they help make this one enjoyable as hell.