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.