It's one of America's favorite 1990's action epics. It features surfing, presidents robbing banks, and Keanu Reeves as Keanu Reeves.
While there have been other internet attempts to give "Point Break" the proper amount of hatred, and other attempts to lure the "Point Break" hardcore fan cult. This is cracked, we're here to LeBron James style, uncontested, statue of liberty slam dunk this motherfucker.
"Point Break" (If you have never seen it.) is basically every single theme of every action movie action-packed into one movie. The plot leaves it all on the screen. Even some of the bits you would rather not see.
Now you have to watch it.
Hell, most of the movie if you think about it logically doesn't even make sense. That's why it co-stars Gary Busey, to suspend disbelief. Busey pops off infamous one liners and cackles (coked out of his mind) while reading "Calvin & Hobbes" when he's on a stakeout.
Johnny Utah is everyone's favorite Ohio Buckeye collegiate quarterback turned F.B.I. field agent. (In what was apparently a matter of weeks or hours.) Makes his way to his new assignment with that asshole doctor from Scrubs. Johnny's commanding officer berates everyone he works with with such over the line assumptions that it makes us scoff at our H.R. department.
"Young dumb and full of come."
He actually says that. To an F.B.I. agent. It's way over the line for "This will freak out the new guy." That's not even the beginning of the offensive shit that goes way over most people's moral compass. (Probably not yours, if you're reading this.)
"They vanish, like a virgin on prom night."
Then we get to meet Agent Angelo Pappas struggling to stay in the F.B.I. due to a sudden and extreme case of Gary Busey level insanity. On the Gary Busey scale of totally space-fucking-alien insane, Pappas ranks rather favorably. One thing noticeably awesome going on with Busey in this flick is the cocaine. Busey is so wired he screams a valiant, "Haha!" when he kamikaze's his car into an escape car driven by the bank robbers. In fact he squirms and fidgets nervously in almost every scene he's in.
Let us not forget the "Ex-Presidents."
Which is a group that is plaguing the greater Los Angeles area with some extreme bank robbing. According to the lead F.B.I. authority on the subject. (Keep in mind that it's Gary Busey.) The bank robbers have robbed 27 banks over the course of 3 years.
"Say, you guys got any coke?"
Since the Ex-Presidents are "in and out in 90 seconds flat." they have spent a total time (over the course of three years) a whopping 40.5 minutes robbing the banks. We're just going to shoot from the hip on this one but, it seems like not even the fucking Flash could catch these guys. Since the number crunchers in the F.B.I. have the bank robbers ranked somewhere between Dr. Manhattan and Hiro from Heroes. It's easy to see why the detectives could get befuddled so easily. (Forget that the crack squad is Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey, no one could solve this case with these numbers to kick around.)
It seems that the Old Cop - Young Cop version of the "buddy cop" has a unique and intriguing dynamic. The robot and the insane Nam' veteran turned FBI agents dynamic. Unlike a lot of movies boasting a "new take" on the buddy cop formula, Point Break delivers. How could you go wrong? (That's Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey together on the screen at the same time.)
You can crack jokes about "Point Break" all day and it doesn't take anything away from the film. It even received high praises from such "hard to get" media cynics such as the BBC and RottenTomatoes. The truth is, Point Break is a lot more then a bunch of surfer-speak and totally unbeleivable story telling.
Point Break has hands down two of the sickest stunt-team action sequences in one movie. Action sequences that in 1991 were filmed with real stunt people doing shit Gary Busey had to talk them into. Patrick Swayze did almost all of his own stunts for the film. Including breaking 4 ribs surfing, and 55 skydiving jumps. When they're filming Bodhi in the sky doing tricks, that's Patrick Swayze. That's how they did things before Michael Bay decided to start CG'ing real stunts. Probably just so he could pay $200,000,000 more dollars for a movie....
...and look cool doing it.
The movie was produced by James Cameron with a stellar and talented crew. If it wasn't for James Cameron producing, then the essence of surfing captured by Katherine Bigelow wouldn't have happened. See, Cameron and her were married or something. (Says our R & D department.) As the producer, knowing she just finished filming another movie, Cameron attached her to "Point Break". She would go on to make "Point Break" look awesome, proving that no matter what the subject matter is, the right look goes a long way.
Most desirable male, circa 1991.
Like most 1991 action movies, "Point Break" is slightly prophetic. Ronald Regan burning down the gas station with the pump as a flamethrower could have been one of the best political statements against deregulation politics at the time. Instead, they made it into the petal-to-the-fucking-metal best chase sequence in an action movie; that starts on foot and ends with Keanu Reeves shooting into the air in both physical and mental pain.
It's a pretty specific criteria but it rightfully deserves it's own category.
The upside to Busey being coked to the gills is he brings the appropriate level of awkward paranoid heart palpitations of a 'Nam vet working bank robbery for the F.B.I. (For twenty two years, you do the math.) Gary Busey jumping out of his seat at anything and writing off the death of almost anyone he shoots as, "Looks bad on my report." oddly enough, seems to perfectly counter the amount of Keanu.
Speaking of Keanu we are saying right here and now that he is the greatest mediocre actor of all time. He even beats out Nicolas Cage because Nicolas Cage fucking sucks. Keanu has and always will be the only actor on the planet that can play Keanu Reeves, which is a highly saught after role in Hollywood these days. Why might you ask? "Wtf!?" might you say?
Here at cracked we've figured it out. Keanu Reeves's talent is constantly called into question each and every time he stars in a movie, (and subsequently questioned about the millions upon millions of dollars.) is a robot. This is not an insult but a compliment. Every other gimmick actor wants to put his little spin on the character, his lines, his quirks and his gimmicks desperately ooze through the screen.
If you've ever seen that movie, this caption is unnecessary.
Keanu comes to set, rocks it and bangs his lines out. Do you need more than one take with Keanu? Probably not. What's the point in wasting everyone's time? There is also a rumor going around that he takes every single role hilariously serious. He rode with real F.B.I. Agents for "Point Break", learned how to surf, and took lessons from the UCLA football coaches; all for his role of Johnny Utah. We know we take liberties with some information, but after you look everywhere, you can tell us if that's bullshit or not.
We hear that drama coaches tell their students, "Not to act." that "acting" a character is the first mistake. They probably preach about how you have to "become" your character, embrace every nuance. Keanu is a master of the reverse version of this philosophy. Every character he's ever played gets submitted into becoming part of the mega acting uni-character that is the one true character. Keanu Reeves himself.
Neo, Johnny Utah, Ted, Johnathan Harker, Jack Traven, Johnny Mnemonic, Kevin Lomax, Shane Falco, Nelson Moss, John Constantine and Klaatu. They're all one with the Keanu.
"My millions of dollars says my characters should become me."
Busey being Busey and Keanu being Keanu aside, there is still Swayze. In "Point Break" Swayze also takes his role and his character seriously. If you've watched "Dirty Dancing" Swayze is a beast when properly motivated. If you think Swayze is awesome in "Road House" his Dalton character is but a shade of the totally real and ever gnarly Bodhi. Dalton's simple philosophy "Pain don't hurt." is but a spec on Bodhi's dysfunctional world perception and spirituality he breaths into the movie. Bodhi is without a doubt the best Swayze in his entire career. You can Ctrl+P that. (Unless, ya' know, you're reading this on an iPhone. Then you can just tell other people.)
Point Break is one of those unique pieces of work that you can giggle at. You can laugh at it until you leave a stain on your editor's rug. You can get wrapped up in the deep themes of the universe and society at work in the waves. You can even ask yourself, "If I was an F.B.I. agent, and my best friend robbed a bank where someone got killed, could I shoot him after I injured my knee chasing him?"
"This is stimulating but we're out of here."