Point Break is chockfull of terribleness. Itís almost too full in fact. As far as terrible movies go, this is not a terrible movie to be savored. The terribility of Point break is like the new Doritos with more cheese: overwhelmingly in its flavor. Its flavor in this case not being powdered rust colored cheese, but the taste of terribilitudidness.
Point Breaksí onslaught attacks the viewerís sensibilities at every possible angle, from the acting, to the dialogue, to the ridiculous story line. The movie stares Keanu Reeves playing an FBI agent named Johnny Utah, which is easily the most laughably heroic name for a protagonist since Steven Seagal played Mason Storm in Hard to Kill. Due to "asshole shortage", Keanu is pulled out of some Midwestern city, and given a job working in a Southern California FBI branch. Heís a Midwesterner for the same reason Capt. Willard was in Apocalypse Now, because heís supposed to be "Everyman." Kurtzís Jungles are replaced by modern day L.A, and his tour guide into his heart of darkness is a Mulleted Patrick Swayze. OK. . .of course Iím being facetious. This is just the stupidest of stupid action movies.
Following the handbook on stupid action movies, Keanu is teamed up with a partner, masterfully played by Gary Busey, who, and youíll never believe this, has a much different way of doing things! Once again, Busey hits his nut-job grove here. His eyes bug out of his head. Spittle flies when he talks, and when he isnít too busy eating double hoagies, and getting shot in the stomach, he says things like, "Listen you snot-nose little shit, I was takin' shrapnel in Khe Sanh when you were crappin' in your hands and rubbin' it on your face!" Also, once again, despite the fact heís playing a loony, Busey is extremely enjoyable to watch here, because the viewer realizes that Gary is one of the few actors, (others being Meg Tilly and Jan Michael Vincent) who are actually a lot crazier than the crazy people they play.
Together they plan on taking down a gang of bank robbers who dress in tuxedos and masks of the former presidents of the United States. I think the whole "Ex-President" thing is supposed to be a political statement or something, but Iím not sure. Iím sure it made sense to the scriptwriter after his 4th double barrel bong hit. Also, the fact that they dress as ex-Presidents begs the question, "where the hell do you get a ĎFordí Halloween mask?," but thereís no reason to nitpick here.
Soon they two agents find out that the "Ex-Presidents are surfers!" who are robbing banks to "finance their endless summer," and Keanu decides to go undercover to infiltrated and nail the gang. The gang, he learns, is fronted by a Patrick Swayze, who gives yet another gorgeously sincere performance in this campy piece of schlock. Despite the fact that heís a bank robber, the viewer isnít supposed to find him to be a bad guy per se, because he has he has noblest of reasons for his federal offenses, i.e. he needs to fund his search for the "perfect wave." I guess this is as good a reason as getting your lover a sex change operation.
Noble or not, Swayze is extremely magnetic and Keanu ends up getting too emotionally close to him. This means that Keanuís character is torn, an emotion close enough to f#cking clueless, that it allows Keanu to do a serviceable job in portraying it. Swayze natural magnetism is channeled through a two-prong attack at winning over Keanu. First, he just holds out the forbidden fruit of an illicit life. He backs this up with warmed over psycho-social-philosophical-type mumbo jumbo about living life to its fullest, rejecting the confines of this and that. .bla bla bla bla bla. Its Fight Club stuff, but not so dark. This of course means that Swayze once again gets to play a philosopher/sociologist in this movie, much like he did in Roadhouse, and is therefore prone to saying things like, "It's basic dog psychology, if you scare them and get them peeing down their leg, they submit. But if you project weakness, that promotes violence, and that's how people get hurt. Peace, through superior firepower." And "Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true." Who said that first? Was it Sun Tzu or Machiavelli?
But its not just the how that interests Swayze, itís also the why. He knows Keanu is an agent, but he is willing to take the risk of getting arrested, because he wants "this Quantico Blue Flammer" to question his way of life. When Keanu finally lets him know, "I. . am an F. . B. ..AAYYEEE. . .agent," Swayze retorts, "I know man. Isnít it wild? Its like we can exist on two different plains. Why be a servant to the law when you can be its master." Indeed. He also says things like, "100% pure adrenaline!" and "If you want the ultimate rush, you gotta be willing to pay the ultimate price." Heís a sort of Epicurean I guess.
Then a bunch of stuff happens with them jumping out of planes, and Swayze disapearing, and so on. In the end, Keanu tracks him down, like a modern day Javert, and handcuffs him. However, because of Swayze's impassioned pleas, and as a reward for having lead him on his journey of self discovery, Keaunu lets him go on one last suicidal surf. A huge wave kills Swayze; Keanu waits a moment, throws his badge in the dirt, and walks off. Why does he renounce his F.B.I job? You'd have to ask the writer. . .And wait until he finishes that bong hit. Heíll be much more sure of his answer.
The rest of the major players are the Red Hot Chilly Peppers, who somehow are worse actors that Reeves, Laura Petty as the love interest, a character named, and I shit you not, Warchild, and John C. McGinley who out-bug eyes Busey, and who once again plays a complete asshole. The difference here is that in Point Break he delivers the line of his career: "Youíre a real blue flame special, aren't you, son? Young, dumb and full of cum, I know."
Itís all a fantastic ride, but sometimes the parts donít add up to an equal whole. Yes, Point Break is a terrible movie, and yes it is comically earnest in its desire not to be, but for some reason, Point Break isnít, in the way that Roadhouse is. Donít be confused, Point Break is still transcendently bad. It is gloriously cringe inducing, and if you havenít seen it, I implore you to treat yourself to the experience. Just donít expect a movie starring the worst actor in Hollywood, the cheesiest, and one of the craziest in a story about surfing, robbing banks, and philosophy, to be all it sounds like it should be. Thatís just not fair.