Point Break (1991)
As a genre movie, Point Break is a hybrid between the 80s action genre, with industrious, fast-paced scenes and partly banal characterizations on one side, and a visionary nod to the Tarantinoesque, relentlessly violent and far more creative films of the early 90s. The film works well in this mode, albeit not in a realistic framework. However, it's through the portrait of surfing –– explicitly – and breaking free – implicitly – that Point Break has its incessant thematic value. The realization of the Bodhi character is crucial and very well executed. Bigelow shows flair – she doesn't get tempted into letting her film revolve around trivial, over-discussed themes (except perhaps the somewhat superficial Reeves/Petty relation), but instead goes deep into the psychology of Bodhi and the mist he surrounds himself with. The philosophy involved is not revolutionary, but the film has a seductive air of freedom, liberation and carefreeness to it that gives the overall effect some distance to the basic plotline. It makes the finale surprisingly effective, even if there's not too much suspense left. And on the way there, the film is constant fun. Reeves looks great, has his moments, but falls flat in a handful of dramatic scenes. Swayze is satisfactory enigmatic and scruffy, and Gary Busey is fine as the counterweight – stealing most of the scenes he's in. One of the best action-films of its time.