Just to prove I can appreciate mindless fun as much as the next guy, I shall review Point Break. If there is a major action movie cornier or more pretentious in its mindless action and philosophy, I have yet to encounter it. As a connection to the previous film Navy SEALS, the main character was to be played originally by Charlie Sheen. We got Keanu Reeves instead. How lucky are we?
Reeves FBI Special Agent Johnny Utah, a former college football star who blew out his knee, missing his chance to play in the NFL. So he decided to join the FBI instead as an undercover agent. Because college football players who are potentially high NFL draft picks are rarely recognizable. Tim Tebow should take note id his run with the Denver Broncos continues to falter. Utah is teamed with Angelo Pappas, played by Gary Busey. Pappas conveys such wisdom as he has been working bank robberies since Utah was taking crap out of his diaper and smearing it on his face. I do not get it, either.
The pair are assigned to investigate a string of bank robberies committed by a gang wearing the masks of ex-presidents. Pappas theorizes the gang are surfers, so Utah goes undercover as a surfing newbie to ingratiate himself into the subculture. He eventually makes contact with Bohdi, played by Patrick Swayze. Bodhi is a surfing philosopher, adrenaline freak, and head of the Ex Presidents.
Utah becomes enamored with Bodki’s lifestyle. He slowly shifts towards being an amoral, risk taking thrill seeker himself. His downhill slide does not truly stop until Bodhi threatens Rosie (lori Petty), his girlfriend who has taken liking to Utah. Somehow, Utah and Bodhi survive a skydiving fall in which their parachute just does open in time before Bodhi gets away with his last big score of stolen loot.
Utah catches up with Bohi in Australia just as he is about to surf on the killer wave of the century. He convinces Utah to let him ride out the hurricane generated waves rather than send him to jail, knowing full well he will drown out there. Utah still cannot quite get over his spiritual connection with bodhi. He throws away his FBI badge in disgust with himself over his corruption.
Point Break is dumb, has some glorious continuity errors, such as Utah’s injured knee switching legs from scene to scene, and expresses such a cornball philosophy, you wonder how the actors could keep straight faces. But somehow they do. Even stranger, it all makes for a fun romp. The action scenes are generally exciting, if farfetched, but excitingly tense. I highly doubt the film is an accurate anthropological look into surfing culture, but neither was anything Frankie and Annette did. Point Break is a dumb, but good action film. Hard to believe it is nearly twenty years old.
Rating: *** (out of 5)