Combustible Celluloid
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With: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C. McGinley, James LeGros, John Philbin, Bojesse Christopher, Julian Reyes, Daniel Beer, Chris Pedersen, Vincent Klyn, Anthony Kiedis, Dave Olson, Lee Tergesen, Sydney Walsh
Written by: W. Peter Iliff, based on a story by Rick King, W. Peter Iliff
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
MPAA Rating: R for violence, language and brief nudity
Running Time: 117
Date: 07/12/1991

Point Break (1991)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Surf Wars

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Kathryn Bigelow's terrific Point Break involves a young FBI agent (Keanu Reeves) who goes undercover as a surfer to catch "The Presidents," a band of bank robbers that dresses up as Reagan, Carter, LBJ, and Nixon. But to complicate things, he becomes involved with the spirituality of surfing, as preached by the gang's leader (Patrick Swayze). Director Bigelow is one of America's greatest unsung talents. She has a great eye not only for action, but also for the psychological push and pull behind the action. The key moment of the film comes when Reeves jumps out of a plane without a parachute as his last chance to catch the bad guy. The entire movie is beautifully shot; even the quiet beach scenes between Reeves and his love interest Lori Petty sparkle. I always expected that Bigelow's Near Dark would become her cult classic, but instead, this one did. Now it enjoys regular midnight performances with many devoted fans. Fox's original 2001 DVD release came with only a trailer and a short "making-of" documentary. In 2006, however, Fox released a new "special edition" with lots more extra stuff for fans. In 2011, a Blu-Ray edition was released.

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