Point Break (1991)

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Welcome to Sea World kid! New FBI recruit Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is paired with veteran agent Angelo Pappas (Gary Busey) who is obsessed with finding a gang of bank robbers who call themselves The Ex-Presidents and has a weird theory that they’re surfers. Johnny infiltrates a group of surfers but things get complicated when he befriends their unofficial leader Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) a kind of Zen master whose friend Tyler (Lori Petty) is the most unusual woman Johnny’s ever encountered… You run, you die. One of the best movies ever made, a dazzling adrenaline rush of a movie and one of my favourites, a crime-adventure epic that once seen on the big widescreen never forgotten. Even hearing the name mentioned gives me a visceral thrill, reminding me of the first time I saw it in a theatre. ┬áIt’s a superb movie about surfing, the mystical transformation people experience in water, the lengths people will go to in order to attain freedom, the concept of loyalty versus duty, friendship, sacrifice. And then it soars in a skydiving sequence that literally takes your breath away. This was Reeves’ first brush with Zen – it would be another few years before he became Little Buddha or Neo in The Matrix. Kathryn Bigelow directs from a screenplay by W. Peter Iliff (from a story by him with Rick King) and The deal with remakes is, if it was good in the first place, Don’t. They remade it. How completely unspeakable. This is a stone cold classic. Your life’s not over. You’re surfing

Point Break (1991)

Point Break poster.jpg

Roger Ebert was right about pretty much every film he reviewed. He said of this that it was about ‘men of thought who choose action as a way of expressing their beliefs.’ It is a sensational film in the best sense – a film about sensation and visceral feeling and action and doing and excitement and adrenaline. Quarterback Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is enjoined by FBI colleague Angelo Pappas (Gary Busey) to infiltrate a surfer gang he suspects of masterminding a series of bank heists, calling themselves The Ex-Presidents. They are led by the charismatic Bodhi Zapha (Patrick Swayze) whose ex Tyler (Lori Petty) proves the necessary introduction, rescuing Johnny from drowning then teaching him to surf. Bodhi’s belief system and bucking the establishment becomes a very attractive philosophy and Johnny is drawn in. This is one of the great Nineties films, directed at warp speed by the wonderful Kathryn Bigelow from a screenplay by W. Peter Iliff (sharing a story credit with Rick King) and it’s a total rush, from start to heartbreaking finish with an ending out of Dirty Harry. One of the great theatrical experiences. Not so much a film as a way of life. Surf’s up.