My newfound interest in old trailers led me to the Point Break trailers:
Did you know in Southern California you can only surf, party, and make love for so long before you have to go to work? My time in Southern California was entirely wasted.
Point Break is about a young FBI agent named Johnny Utah (which I’ve always assumed was a “subtle” nod at Joe Montana), who was once a former famous football player, who has to infiltrate a gang of surfers who he suspects is a group of famous bank robbers led by Bodhi, a charismatic super-surfer. The uptight Utah has to embrace surfer culture in order to get deeper and deeper into the chillaxed and yet weirdly corrupt world of surfers.
Let’s just say the movie is fantastic. I’m a vocal advocate of Keanu Reeves, and I will go to the mat for Patrick Swayze, so you put these two together in a movie and you basically get the best movie ever made.
It’s not the best movie ever made, but it’s not their fault. There are just a lot of good movies, but it’s easily one of Swayze’s best movies, and yet another reason why Keanu Reeves is such a fantastic contributor to the field of cinema.
The scene that I remember from a child is the scene where Bodhi jumps out of a plane to escape Utah and Utah jumps out of the plane after them, only Bodhi is the only one with a parachute. Which makes Utah like the most hardcore action hero around for years to come. Superheroes from the latter day Fast & Furious movies can jump out of planes because they have flying cars, Utah is literally a guy with a bum leg and a ton of guts. I’m not saying I don’t love the Fast & Furious movies (because I love them), but I’m saying that Johnny Utah never comes off as invincible and that makes his over the top action moments that much more moving.
Keanu Reeves has this great ability, that I don’t think enough people recognize, to both play straight-laced and laid back, and in this movie he gets to play both. He’s also at his funniest, I think, when he’s playing an insolent character. Johnny Utah gets to be all of those things.
And Patrick Swayze is just charismatic enough to be likeable even when he’s evil. That makes him a perfect villain for this movie because even when he’s obviously an evil dude, you still kind of want to root for him. He’s a man driven mad by his passions for surfing. And I can admire that at least, while it has led him down the Dark Side of Surfing: bank robbing.
Fast & Furious owes a lot of to this movie now that I think about the same kind of dynamic runs through those movies, of the charismatic bad boy, and the good guy who has to chase him down, but kind of bromantically falls in love with him along the way.