Top 365 Films – #232 – Point Break (1991)

Top 365 Films - Point BreakDIRECTED BY: Kathryn Bigelow

STARRING: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C. McGinley, James Le Gros, John Philbin, Bojesse Christopher, Julian Reyes, Daniel Beer, Chris Pedersen, Vincent Klyn, Dave Olson, Christopher Pettiet, Sydney Walsh, Peter Phelps, Tom Sizemore and Anthony Kiedis

BUDGET: $24m

EARNED (Worldwide): $83.5m




An FBI agent goes undercover to catch a gang of bank robbers who may be surfers.


Point Break has us following two FBI Agents at the beginning. One is hot shot rookie Special Agent Johnny Utah, partnered up with experienced Agent Angelo Pappas and the pair of them are investigating a number of robberies that have been committed by a group known as the Ex-Presidents, wearing masks of Presidents Reagen, Nixon, Carter and Johnson whilst committing these robberies. Pappas believes that the Ex-Presidents are a group of surfers and asks for Utah to go undercover as a surfer. With the help of female surfer Tyler, Utah gains the respect of local surfer Bodhi and his group, though as their bond grows stronger, Utah suspects that the group are the Ex-Presidents.


Before The Fast & The Furious, there was only Point Break and my what a film it is. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, she manages to create a visual style that hasn’t been matched in this kind of undercover cop genre and the characters are more interested in living dangerously as a way of expressing their beliefs rather than just doing it….just because. This is all the more evident in the character of Bodhi, a zen-like surfer that happens to be the criminal and Patrick Swayze perfectly walked the fine line of coming across perfectly sane though with insane methods of practice with such enthusiasm. Keanu Reeves holds his own however as the undercover Agent Johnny Utah (God bless the 90’s for these names), a former football Rose Bowl star who is seduced by Bodhi’s lifestyle and the way that he looks at the world and does play the hotshot dick well when in the office but on the outside he’s upstaged by Swayze. Gary Busey is really good as Utah’s partner Pappas and Lori Petty is good as the love interest Tyler. It’s the action sequences however that sell the film though where the logline may not (with the foot chase scene and the skydiving scenes, the cinematography for the latter alone is a sight to see) with a pretty solid script with memorable quotes, it’s a testament to the cast and Bigelow’s direction that it became a success….and the remake (the real Point Break remake) has alot to live up to.


FAVOURITE SCENE: Foot chase between Johnny and Bodhi leading through the streets, through yards and people’s houses, leading to a moment of a dog getting punted and ending with Utah shooting his gun up into the air and go aaaggghhh. 

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.’ – Bohdi

DID YOU KNOW?: The beach spot where the football game is played at the beginning of the film is the same spot used for the soccer game in The Karate Kid (1984).


One response to “Top 365 Films – #232 – Point Break (1991)

  1. Pingback: Film Review – Point Break | Irish Cinephile·

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