Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hang Ten, Dude!

Point Break
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Lori Petty, Gary Busey, John C. McGinley
Released: July 12, 1991

I would love to know who pitched this movie and how it got greenlit in the first place. Let's have a group of surfers....and make them bank robbers! That is the plot of this movie, basically. We first meet FBI agent ("I AM AN FBI AGENT!") Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) who, along with his partner, Angelo (Gary Busey, who I'm only familiar with from Celebrity Apprentice), decide that he's going to infiltrate the bank robbing surfers and try to get into their crowd so he can stop them. Since Johnny Utah is the younger, more athletic (he is a former quarterback for the Ohio Buckeyes, after all), overall better looking one, they decide that he should be the one to work his way into the surfers' group. Although it certainly would have been funnier if Gary Busey tried to. 

Since the group of robbers are wearing rubber masks of former presidents (and even call themselves the Ex-Presidents), Johnny Utah isn't exactly sure which group of surfers are the bank robbers since this is L.A. and there are a lot of surfers in L.A. The Ex-Presidents have robbed 27 banks in the last three years, but to keep from becoming caught, they never rob the vault, only grab the cash in the drawers so they can be sure they're out in 90 seconds. Although they wield guns, they have never killed anyone. Angelo figured out they were surfers because one of them mooned the camera with "Thank you" written across his butt and he could tell by the tan line that he was a surfer. They also found traces of sand left at the crime scene.

Johnny Utah attempts his first try at surfing and nearly kills himself. He is saved by a female surfer (Lori Petty) who screams at him for being stupid. After tracking down her license plate number, Johnny Utah finds out her name is Tyler and finds out where she works so he can ask her to give him surfing lessons. Through her, he meets Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) who is the charismatic leader of a group of surfers. He and Tyler are a bit of an item, but not since other women openly flirt with him right in front of Tyler. I didn't really get their romantic dynamic. But surprise, surprise, Tyler will end up falling for Johnny Utah anyway. I did find it peculiar that Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze didn't have the other's roles. I feel like Keanu would have been better as the surfer dude, I mean he's Keanu Reeves for god's sake. But Patrick Swayze does have the  long, blond beach hair, so you gotta make him the surfer! 

Johnny Utah (don't you just love that name?) gets in good with the group and quite likes his new friends. Of course he does since his only other friend is Gary Busey! Speaking of Angelo, he leads Johnny Utah and some other agents on a raid in a house where a group of surfers are gathered. Johnny Utah had a nasty altercation with them earlier when he ran into one while he was surfing and one of the guys punched him. While he was using the beach shower, the same guy and a group of his friends came upon him with the intent to beat him up, but luckily Bodhi showed up and told them to stand down before punching the guy. Johnny Utah and Bodhi followed the car with the fist-happy surfer and thought for sure they had there bank robbers. These guys are not the bank robbers, but rather involved with some serious drugs and were all loaded with guns. There's a big shootout and Johnny Utah gets awfully close to a blade of a lawn mower when one of the bad guy pushes his head towards it. This freaked me out and I had to turn around so I wouldn't see anything too gruesome. But right before he's about to get his pretty face chopped up, Angelo shoots out the motor with his gun. Whew! An undercover cop gets really angry with them because they messed up his assignment because he was this close to finding out where the drugs were coming from. 

Well, if you haven't guessed by now (and, uh, spoilers ahead!), Bodhi and his crew of surfers are the ones pulling the bank jobs.  Johnny Utah begins to have his suspicions about them and while at a stakeout at a nearby bank, he and Angelo nearly miss another heist when Angelo has Johnny Utah go into a nearby sandwich shop and get him two meatball sandwiches because he can't shut up about how great they are and how hungry he is. Seriously, this scene must go on for five minutes! When they see the four masked men, they shoot out their back car window and chase after them. Their car gets stuck as the Ex-Presidents turn into a gas station where they firebomb their car so they can get a new one and Johnny Utah runs all the way there to try to stop them. The three other guys are in the car waiting for Bodhi (in a Ronald Reagan mask) to get in, but instead, he and Johnny Utah have a wild goose chase, running through houses (like actually going inside the house from the front door to the back door). It's a pretty exciting foot chase, I must say. Johnny Utah sprains his ankle after jumping from a long drop and it's clear he can't chase after "Reagan" anymore. We see a close up of the eyes behind the Reagan mask and know it's Bodhi. Well, duh, they wouldn't spend this much time on the chase if it was just some random guy Johnny Utah was running after! 

Now that Bodhi's gang know that Johnny Utah is an FBI agent (He is an FBI AGENT!), the other surfers want to get the hell out of town, but Bodhi has other plans. He blackmails Johnny Utah into joining him on a bank robbery by telling him that someone has Tyler (oh, and she's pretty pissed about how Bodhi lied to her) hostage and the only way he can free her is if he available in the next twelve hours to call it off. So Johnny Utah has his hands tied and is forced to rob the bank with the others. Only since there is no extra Presidents masks (what, they couldn't get a George Bush mask for him? Surely they had those in 1991!), Johnny Utah has to go in sans a mask. This time Bodhi decides he's going to get money from the vault and while doing this, an undercover cop who was one of the customers in the bank at the time, tells the bank security guard to back him up and shoots at one of the surfers...I think it was Brodi's brother who is shot and killed....or maybe it was one of the other surfers who gets shot and killed and Brodi's brother gets shot, but manages to escape...I don't remember! Brodhi kills the undercover cop and somehow manages to escape to an airfield where he has a plane ready to take off for Mexico. Johnny Utah follows him and Angelo is also there and there's a big shoot out. Johnny Utah doesn't want Angelo to kill Brodhi because he needs him alive so he can tell him where Tyler is. Angelo gets shot by one of the other surfers and Gary Busey and his teeth are hamming up that death scene so much that I was laughing...probably not a good thing to laugh over a death scene! But it was hilarious.

Johnny Utah ends up on the plane with Bodhi, Bodhi's bleeding brother, and the pilot. Johnny Utah begs for Bodhi to call off the kidnapping of Tyler and to let her go before he jumps out of the plane just in case something happens, but Bodhi ignores him and jumps out after he's sent his brother. Since Johnny Utah is now a skydiving expert since he's already skydived once before in his life (in an earlier scene), he jumps out of the plane without a parachute and tackles Bodhi in the air, puts a gun to his head and tells him to open the parachute, but Bodhi refuses to open it, saying Johnny Utah needs to open it and in order to do so, he has to drop the gun. Guess who ends up opening it? Yep, Johnny Utah has to sacrifice his gun in order to save their lives. So Bodhi gets away with the money (even though his brother is now dead) and Tyler is safe. We fast forward a year later where FBI agent Johnny Utah has finally found Bodhi in Australia where he's surrounded by cops. There's a huge storm and the ocean has 50 foot waves and Bodhi begs him to let him surf one last time because he was going on about how he wanted to surf that one perfect wave, so Johnny Utah lets him go and we see Bodhi paddle out in the death wave and I guess it's up to interpretation what happened to him, but I'm guessing he probably drowned.

This movie has a lot of fun action, but for the most part, I didn't understand why this movie even exists. Did you know there was a Point Break remake that came out just last year? I mean, was the world really clamoring for a Point Break remake? It does have some interesting history as it was directed by Kathryn Bigelow who would become the first female to win the Best Directing Oscar for The Hurt Locker and later go on to direct Zero Dark Thirty. I feel for a surfing movie there wasn't enough surfing, but I guess if I always wanted to watch a surfing movie, I could watch Blue Crush. 

No comments:

Post a Comment