“Vaya con dios…brah!”
With Point Break being headlining news as a of late, it only seemed appropriate that we take this “Throwback Thursday” to review the original film. When a film receives the label of “cult classic” it’s based off of a notion of chaos. Usually there is no formulaic reason why people enjoy a cult film, they simply like it for their own reasons. When a film reaches this status usually lightning doesn’t strike twice and when it comes to “Point Break,” I especially feel this way. The film is iconic, chaotic, and a bit over-the-top, but surprisingly it’s a film that I love. Let me tell you why.
Cinematics (Plot, Acting, Cinematography, etc.) – 3
Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”) leads as the director for “Point Break” at a time in her career when she was still new to Hollywood. She takes on this project and turns a ridiculous story about an FBI agent turned surfer into a quality film. While the absurdity of the story cannot be fixed, Bigelow does an excellent job of embracing the absurdity and supplementing the areas that can actually flourish.
Just like a horribly good “B” movie, “Point Break” seems to mock its bad story by accompanying it with poor dialogue. “They just live to get radical,” “I caught my first tube this morning…sir,” and “Vaya con Dios” are just a few examples of the awkwardly misplaced dialogue throughout the film. While the story and the dialogue are both unsalvageable, they do form some sort of cohesive bond that creates fluidity between the two elements. And in addition that bond seems to transcend to Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) and Utah (Keanu Reeves) as they have amazing on screen chemistry throughout their encounters in the film.
These encounters are where the film shines. But it’s not the story or dialogue that add to the cinematic value of “Point Break,” it’s the camera work, action sequences, and editing. This all comes together through the direction of Katheryn Bigelow who presents us with a visually captivating action film. Through multi-angled, luminous shots Bigelow highlights the grit of extreme sports like surfing and skydiving while also capturing the explosive flair of gunfights and car chases. “Point Break” is a perfect example of a film that is so visually pleasing that it overshadows the flaws. The film is so well shot that aspects labeled as “bad” are instead labeled as “cult character.”
Entertainment Value – 4.5
Entertainment is where “Point Break” truly shines. From beginning to end the film is filled with a variety of adrenaline-pumping fun. Whatever your tastes may be, this film has it all, it’s not just a surfing film. The effects are so rich and practical that “Point Break” could essentially be the “Top Gun” of surfing films. While the surfing will have you enthralled with action shots from all angles and beautiful beach landscapes, action is prevalent in many forms throughout. The excitement is non-stop and it’s a variety of action that moves fluidly through a variety of scenes. The film is highly entertaining from beginning to end.
Rewatchability – 4
“Point Break” is a film that I can watch over and over again. Reiterating what I’ve already stated, the film is so visually pleasing and full of non-stop action that it’s like riding a rollercoaster over and over. It might lose a bit of luster through consecutive viewings but once you revisit it after a long hiatus, the fun is easy to relive once more.
"Point Break" is a cult classic that will withstand the test of time for action films. While the dialogue and story are a bit laughable at times, the cinematography brings things together in a sort of chaotic way.