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Movie of the Day – Point Break

Posted on the 12 April 2013 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

So apparently by the amount of talk on twitter and facebook posts, Point Break is going to officially be remade for a modern audience.  Now I am always there to basically deride Hollywood of the fact that they don’t have any creativity anymore.  Believe me, I am no less thrilled about the latest remake than the next person and I await the day when they decide to remake a movie that is less than a year old.  Well I decided that I should commit to memory and this blog, a movie of the day post about one of my favorite action films out there.

Point Break 1a

Kathryn Bigelow’s fourth action film follows FBI agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) as he goes undercover to infiltrate a cache of Southern California surfers suspected of robbing banks. Utah, a former football player, is assigned to Los Angeles. There, four bank robbers, who wear rubber masks and call themselves “Ex-Presidents,” have executed a series of successful robberies which embarrassingly have the FBI stumped. Utah, and his partner Pappas (Gary Busey) suspect that the robbers are surfers and hatch a plan for catching them. ~ Linda Rasmussen, Rovi

Point Break is both one of the best action films out there and the cheesiest action films out there.  I don’t know how, but this movie seemingly walks the knifes edge on being earnest and cheesy.  It’s baffling, but it has to do with the stars of the film, the tone of it and the action that is there.  First we talk about the actors.

There are four main characters in the film and four different approaches to the acting.  Lori Petty plays Tyler, the love interest and go between character in terms of her involvement with the Ex-Presidents and Utah.  She actually brings a lot of sincerity and levity to the role, sympathetic and also a firecracker in terms of her motives and life style.  I really liked Petty in the role and wishes that she got something more from this flick.  Then you have Pappas, played by Gary Busey.  Holy shit, this character is amazing.  Busey seems to honestly be having a ball playing this sort of wild authority figure in the FBI, having a chance to just play up a one dimensional character that needs a breathe of life.  Busey is the shit in this movie, no doubt about it.

Point Break 1b

Then you have the two mains of the film.  The Swayze plays Bodhi, the sort of new age, surfer guru that also happens to be the villain and lead of the bank robbing gang.  Bodhi is the sort of guy that you would want to hang out with and have a brew, but for the audience, it’s a conflict in terms of sympathizing with a guy who also happens to be robber.  Swayze really just brings it all together with his character.  You almost trick yourself in believing Bodhi and the riding high on life attitude which is a great acting job he does.  Hell I almost wanted to join the Ex-Presidents and jump out of planes and shit.  Then we have Utah, Mr. Keanu Reeves, Mr. F…B…I…AGENT Johnny Utah.  He ends up making this into a cheesy action movie.  The acting from Utah is just about laughable in terms of the line delivery, but man he can bro it out when he needs to, especially when going undercover to infiltrate the surfing gang.  He can do the button down FBI suit and then hang ten afterwards.  But then again he has moments were emphasis of emotional lines means that he puts periods in between. every. fucking. word.  Just laughable and enjoyable.

Now the second thing that makes this movie is tone of the film.  On one hand you have high octane action scenes that are balanced out with these deep, insightful moments of exposition when Bodhi starts pontificating about life and what it all means.  Catching that big wave or riding high on life.  You have moments of extreme adrenaline, tempered with some sincerity.  It never really takes you out of the moment, just pushing you deeper into it.  Again the acting and characters seem to have that brilliant balance that works.

Last is the action and there is a lot of it.  From bank heists, urban chase scenes, and the moments of surfing and sky-diving, this is an adrenaline rush of a movie.  Kathryn Bigelow can do some intense action sequences and she does them well.  The bank heists are frantic and chaotic, enough to disorient everyone and the chase scene between Bodhi and Utah gave us one of the best scenes in the entire movie.

AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!  Fuck that is awesome!

I don’t know how they can remake this movie to be truthful.  This was purely a lighting in the bottle movie where it wvers between being awesome and cheesy, but it does it so well that it became iconic in my eyes.  I mean this movie was remade, I guess the idea was, with The Fast and The Furious.  Go watch that and tell me it isn’t Point Break but with shittier actors and cars.  I won’t say that it is sacrilegious to remake this, but just don’t have it be a shot for shot remake.  If I wanted a shot for shot remake of this movie, I would go watch the original.  I highly doubt you will be able to recreate some of these scenes and have it mean something.  Hell this is one of the more impactful scenes in the movie and you can’t get that right again.

Vaya con Dios, Brah.

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