The Crime Club convenes to discuss the surf-crime thriller Point Break.


I recall this movie being somewhat of a cheesy classic but it was only on second viewing, decades later, that I came to realize the true depths of its cornballness.  The plot is pretty predictable, Keanu’s performance more suited to his vacant Yo-Dude(!) undercover role than the actual capable FBI agent he’s supposed to be, and the dialogue… Hooweee, that dialogue.  I honestly didn’t remember it being so horrendous.  How bad was it?  So bad that at one point in the early goings I was sorely tempted to stop watching and write up my thoughts from memories of my first screening.  And I would have, were it not for the demands of our little Crime Club, and the onscreen stylings of one Patrick Swayze who is positively terrific in this movie.  And, quite frankly, once you get past the paint-by-numbers narrative, the cringeworthy dialogue, and the wonderful Lori Petty being reduced to a damsel in distress, Point Break does switch gears about two-thirds of the way through to deliver an action-packed and suspenseful – if somewhat silly – third act.  I mean, yes, you have nazi surf punks, lame Nixon gags, and our hero, Johnny Utah (!), screaming “Nooooooooooo!” after his partner is shot, but on the other hand you have Patrick “fucking” Swayze and one hell of a memorable final sequence that sees the two adversaries throw down one last time before parting ways for the last time.  Johnny’s “He’s not coming back.” as he walks away and the cut to Bodhi catching that monster wave is a beautiful moment and at that point, for this viewer at least, all is forgiven.

So, what did you all think of Point Break?

Ready for a crime classic?  I hope so because, on Monday, the Crime Club will reconvene to discuss the Laurence Olivier/Michael Caine psychological thriller Sleuth.



18 thoughts on “September 11, 2020: The Crime Club convenes to discuss Point Break!

  1. So, I was really looking forward to Train to Busan 2: Peninsula. It turns out, the reviews are terrible.

  2. I enjoyed Point Break at the time and a couple of rewatches since then. Yeah, those final scenes are awesome. Makes you think about a few things too. I think I need to have a look at again this weekend. Patrick Swayze was awesome in this and so many other roles, and I was genuinely sad when he passed away.

    Keanu is great – he keeps going and going and every now and then he does something awesome. I watched a Japanese drama earlier this year and part of the plot was the mother before she passed away saying to her daughter that her father was Keanu.

    Sleuth is an awesome movie and a family favourite – two great actors and a great story too! Looking forward to Monday 😊

    1. “I watched a Japanese drama earlier this year and part of the plot was the mother before she passed away saying to her daughter that her father was Keanu.” Wut?

          1. I’m doing well with this one! The plot of the drama was the mother was a well known author/ celebrity journalist and was great friends with Keanu. Before she passed away she said to her daughter (herself a journalist) that Keanu was her father. Of course there were photos of Keanu and the mother together and she had Keanu’s wedding band kept in a book, just to add a little bit more mystery to the claim. When the mother suddenly passed away, the daughter decided she needed to solve the mystery of who her father actually was. She subsequently found out it wasn’t Keanu, but a former academic who had been jailed for poisoning kids at a holiday camp.

              1. The name of the J-Drama is Shiranakute Ii Koto.

                Quite good to start with and also a very commentary on social media and sensationalist reporting.

  3. Been a long time since I watched parts of POINT BREAK, but I agree with your two main assessments, Joe. I remember that change of tone midway through, and Swayze definitely had talent to spare.

  4. It’s really Patrick “Cowboy Dancer” Swayze’s movie, he doesn’t at any point feign regret about stealing, and even though these movies demand that the heist go wrong or the felons get caught he gets to ride out on that wave, totally survive and come back for that sequel they never made. He retired to Costa Rica to open a tiki bar and raise a litter of cute baby surfers with criminal tendencies.

    That crazy campfire was so seductive, it would have been fun to see a movie where Keanu immediately drops out of the FBI and goes off to rob banks and surf the world with Patrick. Lori Petty was so cool in this movie, I wished it had been more like The Deep and focus on a couple getting mixed up with baddies, but c’mon, there was no room for Lori Petty in the bromance between Keanu and Patrick. Lori Petty is so fantastic on OITNB, I still have my Tank Girl OST.

  5. I’m pretty sure I saw “Point Break” at the cinema. I was at my peak cinema-going age when it came out. I don’t remember it leaving much of an impression on me, though.

    Over the years I’ve seen it many times and I enjoy it every time. Sure, it’s cheesy. Keanu’s acting is more wooden than the surfboards. Gary Busey is, well, Gary Busey. And the plot is just ridiculous. But it has a certain charm to it.

    Patrick Swayze is pretty bloody awesome and steals the show. That shot of him falling backwards out of the plane thrills me every time. No greenscreen. No CGI. He actually jumped out of a plane!

    While the ending is poignant and powerful it is ruined for me by the fact that I’ve actually surfed at Bells Beach (the one and only time I’ve ever been surfing!) and it looks nothing like the beach in the movie! Most of the beaches they show during the movie are a closer match to Bells than the Oregon beach they used at the end. I guess they just wanted it to look different. At least they actually hired an Australian actor to play the surfer dude on the path to the beach but that cop’s Australian accent is just awful! “Whaht aah yew doin’, Yewtah! Yew let ‘im gow!” I crack up laughing every time.

    I don’t think I’ve see “Sleuth” before so I’ll definitely check it out. I’ve never seen a bad Michael Caine movie. Well, maybe “The Hand”.

    1. As a non-Australian who has never surfed and never frequented any of the beaches featured in this movie, the ending worked for me, BUT I can see how it may not have worked for you (or any Aussies/surfers/beach-frequenters). Also goes to show I need to brush up on my accents. It reminds of a friend from the UK who loves the series The Boys with the sole exception of Keith Urban’s accent which she describes as “Kind of cockney – but I’m not sure what he’s trying to do”. Finally “Gary Busey is, well, Gary Busey” perfectly sums up his performance in this movie.

  6. It was wonderful and sad to see Patrick again. He was so young and healthy. Lori and Patrick were the bright spots in this flick. Also, the footage looked like Keanu, Lori and Patrick did a few surfing scenes and maybe, a sky diving scenes, as well. It must have been a blast to work on. This movie wasn’t one of my favorites but Keanu and Patrick were pretty to look at. 🙂 My hubby played a puzzle game through the movie, so that’s his review. 😉

    I’m heading out of town to check on family, so I’ll probably miss the next installment. 😐

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