Sunday, August 23, 2015

Movie Review: "Point Break" (1991)

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Movie"Point Break"
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Year: 1991
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 2 minutes

A rookie FBI agent named Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) goes undercover as a surfer to try and find the identity of some serial bank robbers known as the ex-presidents who he and his partner believe frequent the beach scene.

Long before winning the Academy Award for directing "The Hurt Locker," Kathryn Bigelow was honing her skills with "Point Break." Starring Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah, and no, that is not a joke, the main character's name is really Johnny Utah, he's young hot shot FBI rookie and former NCAA D-1 quarterback. Utah is hyped to get out into the field and catch his first perp. He is partnered with an older FBI veteran with a bit of an attitude named Pappas, played by Gary Busey pre-insanity. Wait, Gary Busey and Keanu Reeves in the same movie? Are we dreaming!?! HELL YES!!! THIS IS AWESOME!!! Working in Los Angeles every summer year after year, a group of bank robbers known as the ex-presidents rob multiple banks in the city and have never been caught. Based on some flimsy evidence and a hunch, Pappas believes these bank robbers are be surfers, you know, because no one else gets tanned unless they are surfers. Now, Johnny Utah has to go undercover as a surfer to try and get close to and discover the bank robbers. Utah is eventually taken under the wing of surfer named Bohdi, played Patrick Swayze, who is a live in the moment and very spiritual in a Buddhist sort of way. It seems like he's also hiding something, and the closer Utah gets to Bohdi, the closer he comes to discovering the truth.

Okay, now we will admit, Keanu Reeves' acting is terrible in this movie...well, actually, in most of his movies. He sounds like he is still playing Ted from "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," laid back and a little dim, though he's not supposed to be dim since he's a friggin' FBI agent. Reeves even studied real life FBI agents for research on this role, though you would never know it because he makes a billion derpy faces and says some pretty extraordinarily and intentionally hilarious lines. On the flip side, we have to admit we find his method a little endearing, and we have both really come to enjoy Reeves as an actor, unironically. Meanwhile, Gary Busey is a goldmine, constantly spouting off some of the most amazing, off the wall bonkers lines that are hilariously wonderful, some of which now live in the "insult hall of fame." There is also the stereotypical ball busting boss who thinks they are incompetent screw-ups, even though their hunch might just prove to be right. Despite all the stereotypes and bad acting from Reeves, this actually quite an amazing movie to watch as it is immensely entertaining. The shots of the summer surf, the cheesy dialogue, the action, the planning, the botched and horrible undercover work, it all comes together to create a summer movie masterpiece of sorts. Plus, it is the inspiration for "The Fast and the Furious" franchise, which lifted most its plot points directly from this film. We can't help but enjoy this movie as we feel the excitement and laugh at the sometimes intentional, sometimes unintentional funny dialogue. The overall story is still pretty decent, even though Johnny Utah is literally the worst, most terrible undercover agent in the world and does many things that could have blown his cover. It's a solid film with a sometimes thrilling and dazzling visual spectacle as our character skydive, surf massive waves, and get into huge fights. Just because it's a couple decades old DOES NOT mean it needs a sequel/reboot/hybrid/remake, and yet, coming this Christmas, we are getting one anyway. Patrick Swayze is rolling over in his grave, and Keanu Reeves should be pissed as hell anyone would dare compare him to the idiotic, even more derpy actor that is Luke Bracey.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 68%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!
One year ago, we were watching: "Summer Rental"

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