In all fairness, this swill's swells are in the action: car chases, foot chases, wipeouts, shootouts, brawls and falls -- and they're terrific. Director Kathryn Bigelow pumps up the action to, indeed, full adrenal dimension. [12 July 1991]
UTAH!........MAKE IT TWO!
Full disclosure, I love this movie. It is one of my favourite movies of all time and is essential viewing for anyone that likes, bank robberies, surfing, Keanu, Swayze, epic bromances, The Fast and the Furious (they stole the plot), Gary Busey, John C McGinley chewing the scenery, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers (cameo **** list goes on.
The **** me tell you. Keanu Reeves is Johnny Utah, a new post graduate super cop who is tasked under the tutelage of Gary Busey to infiltrate a crack team of bank robbers who he theorises are possibly surfers. This leads Keanu into the world of zen master/surfing guru/samurai leader Patrick Swayze who takes him under his wing and teaches him the ways of the ocean whilst Keanu tries to figure out who the hell keeps robbing these banks whilst falling for a surfer girl played here by the perfectly cast Lori Petty.
The film oozes 90's cool. Swayzes sheer magnetism shines throughout which is remarkable for a character that arguably doesn't have that much screen time. Keanu here is also on top form playing a straight laced cop remembering at this point he is straight off the back of Bill and Ted and plays the ying to Patrick Swayzes yang perfectly. A shout out goes to John C McGinley who manages to chew every scene he is in and Gary Busey being on cracking form as Keanus detective unhinged mentor. Kathryn Bigelow has always been one of my favourite directors and would go on to direct such wartime epics as The Hurt Locker, but for me this stands out as probably her best work and is lifted up by a brilliant score from Mark Isham that perfectly suits the almost dream like quality this film achieves in places.
This is a film that manages to get you invested and believe that a bunch of surfer bros are the potential masterminds of several bank heists. It includes endlessly quotable dialogue, outstanding stunt scenes that still astound today (the aerial stunt work is still outstanding) and revolves around an epic bromance for the ages. As far as bank robbery films go, they rarely get better than this.
What saves Point Break from wipeout is Kathryn Bigelow's direction. Though the film lacks the formal beauty and allure of her Near Dark and Blue Steel, Bigelow keeps the action percolating in high style.
When the action sequences move into the sky-diving stuff, they give you a real rush.... Otherwise, though, Point Break is all wet. Too bad, because you always get the sense in a Kathryn Bigelow outing ("Near Dark," "Blue Steel") that she's trying to push a genre into new places. [12 July 1991, p.54]
For an hour or so, Bigelow (Near Dark, Blue Steel) gets by on that great eye of hers. But about halfway, Point Break breaks down. The plot, which has been unimpressive but not irritating, becomes maddeningly implausible. And the performances, which had been generally engaging, lose their edge.
A hare-brained wild ride through big surf and bad vibes, Point Break acts like a huge, nasty wave, picking up viewers for a few major thrills but ultimately grinding them into the sand via overkill and absurdity.
Will always be better than any remake, the actors are good, some lines are cheesy but it's a 90's action movie. It's part of the package. Overall a good movie especially for people nostalgic of this genre.