Point Break (1991) Blu-ray Review

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey, Lori Petty
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
Film length: 2hrs, 3min
Theatrical Release: July 12, 1991
Blu-ray release: 2011

Point Break has pass me by for years.  Well, it is time to get this cult hit and see what is up for myself.

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Video (2/5)
The transfer from film to 1080p is not ideal on this print.  Any dark scenes, like where The Swaze and Keanu are dude/brahing it up with the football on the beach are washed out.  And bright scenes, like the skydiving one, are laden with film grain. Overall it’s not a terrible looking Blu-ray, but it is not good either.

Audio (4/5)
Another competent DTS-HD soundtrack.  The crashing waves and gun shots packed enough punch, and dialogue was clear through the center channel even while some characters wore masks.  There is not as much range between the high and low end as I’d like, but there are no problems here.

Extra Features (2/5)
The back of the box boasts how this disc includes four featurettes, but what is really here is one 30 minute documentary broken up into four parts.  It is quite entertaining however, and in HD.  Everyone (except Reeves… They use clips from 1991 for him…) returns to give an insight about their part in the film and share some memories.  They even manage to get The Swaze in before his untimely departure from our planet.  Despite this there really isn’t much else here.  Some deleted scenes that are not worth your time and a theatrical trailer which you can watch on YouTube.  Meh, overall.

The Film (2/5)
“Goosebumps.”

Point Break takes place in a surf town on the Pacific coast in Southern California.  There have been a rash of armed robberies that target banks by a gang known as “The Ex-Presidents”. The gang receives their name from disguising themselves with masks of former presidents Reagan, Nixon, Carter, and LBJ.  Their rule is to never hit the vault and stick to only taking cash from bank teller registers.  This means a smaller take, but it allows them to strike fast.  The strategy has earned them over 30 successful robberies, so far.  The FBI, is not pleased.

Fresh out of training, they assign Special Agent Johnny Utah (Reeves) with the task of catching The Ex-Presidents.  He is partnered with veteran agent Pappas (Busey) who has a theory that the gang is made up of surfers based on when and where they hit banks.   

Now undercover as a surfer, Utah ends up befriending adrenaline junkie Brodi (Swayze) who quickly accepts him as a peer and brings him into the world of brah surfer-hood.  It is here that Utah’s loyalties are put to the test as everything isn’t as innocent as it seems…brah.

Point Break has a decent premise for an action film and most of it is paced well enough, but the characters are dumb and the dialogue is even worse.  It makes no sense why a team goes for being professional and careful to avoid violence for 30 straight robberies to suddenly not.

Even after blowing Utah’s cover, the continue to pretend to not know he is an FBI agent to… I don’t know… give him life lessons.  It makes no sense.

Reeves acting is about as good as a block of wood with every line of delivered with the same monotone cadence.  If he is getting shot at, arguing with Busey, or feeling goosebumps on his girlfriend’s arm, he stays lifeless.

Busey, on the other hand, is a slam dunk.  Granted is isn’t too hard to when stacked against Keanu Reeves, but that should take away of how well he delivered.  Busey’s real life wackiness fit the bizarre personality of the character.  

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Hey, Two meatlball subs. Two!

A couple of action sequences are really well done as well. I’m a sucker for a car chase with “regular” cars going all out.  The “Ex-Presidents” in their red 1984 Lincoln Town Car cheesing it from Busey in his 1984 Buick Century was a thing of beauty.  Watching these tanks with rear wheel drive that are designed to take Grandma to Church on Sunday, drift through intersections while the four barrels let out big roars. Good times.

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The foot chase was the other solid bit of action.

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It takes us down narrow corridors, through people’s homes; dogs are tossed and kicked.   Both of these bits of action are examples of director Kathryn Bigelow’s competence a putting together action sequences but the clunker script she co-wrote is a slog to sit through.

19 comments

  1. Hahaha….Holy Cow I actually know this movie as well! I liked the whole bank robbery action scene and this movie was ok. Not a classic by any stretch but not a dud as well!
    Also of note RATT had a song in the movie ‘Nobody Rides For Free’ which is a great song! One strong track…
    By the way Busey is the ultimate train wreck actor….
    Cool review Sir!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve never seen this.m, but honestly feel that I have given the number of scenes that are familiar to me! I do have it on my list, right enough. I mean, Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan and that mad hatter Gary Busey? What more could a man ask for!? Maybe some Seagal, but I’ll not gripe too much.

    I should also add that Gary Busey’s madcap turn in Under Siege is truly wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh god, oh god, please do NOT review the remake, please no, please no. I watched the original when it came out and have a certain fondness for it, even though I will admit it had many flaws. Where the original at least gave some low level, visceral entertainment the remake fails to even inspire the slightest of such.

    Liked by 1 person

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