Point Break title image
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122 min.
Release Date
Point Break poster

Point Break is an action movie about characters who call each other “brah” without irony. They resolve their conflicts by surfing, skydiving without a parachute, or having a beachside brawl in the rain. Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze star, blurring the lines between cop and robber, masculine and spiritual, friend and enemy. The earnest bromance drives the almost absurdly high-concept logline, about a cop who must go undercover as a surfer to catch a bank robber. The setup alone might invite unintentional laughs if director Kathryn Bigelow gave us time to think. But she doesn’t. This exhilarating movie runs on overdrive, offering an excess of stylish sequences and over-the-top performances that feel heightened by the “radical” and “extreme” behaviors on display. It’s also a quintessentially 1990s landmark that arrives at the intersection of conservatism and an alternative culture clashing to produce pop existentialism. But never mind its rebellious message; it sold a bundle of movie tickets. Point Break adopts blockbuster aesthetics and features bankable stars, inviting viewers to feel their way through the spectacle of shootouts and stunts. And while it holds up under light critical scrutiny and, like most Bigelow films, has more on its mind than the surface implies, it functions best as a thrill ride.

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