Beach Party Blogathon: Revisiting the Laser Disc Collection: Point Break

It’s Beach Party Blogathon!  When I seen this, the first film that came to mind for this site was Point Break! Is there any better neo-noir or noir film where the beach is such a big part of the story?

So Kem Nunn writes a book called Tapping the Source(something I have on my to read list), it was bought for the movie rights, soon after publication.  After many re-writes and changes it finally became Point Break.  Because of all the re-writes there was not much left of the original story and Nunn was never given a writing credit for the film, but he started his own sub-genre, surf noir.

Before Vin Diesel took the adrenaline junkie genre film to the absurd in xXx and the Fast and the Furious franchise, this movie inspired a whole generation of adventure athletes to live their dreams instead of working for the man.

This film had a great cast including Gary Busey, Lori Petty and John C. McGinley as well as an uncredited appearance from neo noir regular Tom Sizemore. Lets not forget Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis as a surf nazi. Even with all that talent this film will be known for having two of the biggest stars of the 1990’s going head to head, Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves.  This film is directed by Kathryn Bigelow who hasn’t made a lot of movies, but she sure has made some great ones.

Our story starts with the most famous bank robbers from the 1990’s, The Ex-Presidents(how many times has this been reused in someway since this film).

They rob a bank, in and out in 90 seconds, clean, and they are professional.   Johnny Utah, played by Reeves makes his way to the F.B.I. Headquarters in Los Angles as a rookie agent.  Him and his 22 year vet partner played by Busey are on the case.  Busey has a crazy theory about the Ex-Presidents being surfers.  Soon Johnny Utah is going undercover as a surfer and befriends Tyler, played by Lori Petty, and is introduced to surf guru Bodhi played by Swazye.  Our adventure takes off from here with night surfing, beach football and sky diving.

This may be a rehash of movies where somebody goes undercover in a gang of outlaws, sometimes siding with the bad guys by the end or at least understanding why they do what they do.  This film is original because our outlaws are not doing what they do to get rich or own possessions or buy their next hit of drugs, they are doing it to finance their lifestyle, and it’s a healthy lifestyle if you will.   With the Ex-President masks, were they telling us we all are slaves to the system?  A system they are not willing to be apart of anymore?  Can we see why the All-American quarterback turned F.B.I. agent is seeing the light and does not want to be a cog in the system anymore?  Are the big bad bank robbers the bad guys in this or are the straight-laced suit wearing, living in the system guys, the real baddies here?

So everybody who is a fan of this film, and there is a lot of followers for this cult film, knows we are getting a remake soon. We have two lesser known actors playing the leads and Teresa Palmer playing Tyler.  I guess I’m getting old, because the first thing I thought was “Isn’t it to soon for a remake?”  Then I noticed this film was made almost 25 years ago.  I hope they keep the realism and concentrate on the relationships of our leads and not make a superhero movie, to wild to be believed in the vain of Fast and Furious or xXx, with lots of unbelievable C.G.I. and explosions for no reason.  Sadly based on the box office results of Furious 7, and the first trailer, I think that is exactly what we will get.  I guess I’ll hook up the old Laser Disc Player and pop this in again to get my adrenaline fix.

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8 thoughts on “Beach Party Blogathon: Revisiting the Laser Disc Collection: Point Break

  1. That’s why I do not like remake I seen the trailer Nad you are right we will get explosion and such but not much about the character development . Nice review. 25 years ago shit I am getting old dan I saw that one at the theater when it came out.

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  2. I must lead a sheltered life because I’ve never heard of the fab phrase “surf noir”, but I love it! I’ve heard of this film – and a lot of good things about this film – and I’ll have to add it to my growing Must Watch List.

    You raised some interesting questions about who the real bad guys are, and if we’re slaves to the system. It sounds like this film has a philosophical bent which is another reason to check it out.

    Thanks for coming to the Beach Party Blogathon!

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  3. I love this movie 🙂 and you have the reasons why in this post. Bigelow did such a fun job making this an “adrenaline junkie” picture like you say. Great one to bring to this event and thanks for taking part!

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  4. I might be in a minority here but I really only found this film to be okay at most. If anything I’d say it’s Kathryn Bigelow’s weakest film (she’d later revisit the idea of examining an adrenaline junkie to far greater effect in The Hurt Locker). I also felt like this one had its priorities skewed in some way, because I seriously found the romance with Tyler a lot more interesting than the homoerotic relations between Johnny Utah and Bodhi. I actually think it would have been a better film if the focus had instead been on Tyler and Bodhi was just a side character. I remember when I got to that final scene I was just thinking “No, don’t show me more of this guy. I want to know what happened to Tyler.”

    I saw the trailer for the remake and I can’t say it looks a whole lot better. From what was shown it looked like they completely re-wrote the Bodhi character from a psycho adrenaline junkie to a Robin Hood-esque vigilante which seems like a really weird choice on their part. I wasn’t even sure if Tyler was supposed to be in this remake considering she was barely in the trailer.

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    • I’ve always loved this film, from the first time I seen it at the theater and still do today. I think Bigelow has gotten more talented and her last few films have been amazing and are very important films, but this film will still be the one I watch the most often.

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  5. I love this movie and own a DVD copy of it. 😀 Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves were great adversaries. Didn’t remember that Anthony Kiedis was in it though. Good excuse to watch it again.

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  6. This film is one of my ultimate guilty pleasures. I can’t believe it’s being remade – I guess for a certain generation it must seem like one of those untouchable films, one that could never be bettered! For what it’s worth, I’ve never been able to work out the meaning of those President masks – perhaps they just looked good!

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  7. This is a fun film. Keanu Reeves is generally terrible unless the part is that of a heroic, but often baffled good guy. He gets to be exactly that and it works. Realizing this is 25 years old definitely makes me feel old. But, like I said, it’s lots of fun. I can see why they’re remaking it. Haven’t seen the trailer, but I’m not expecting much from it.

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