Saturday, September 18, 2010

Point Break. B+

Since experiencing the complete awesomeness of Kathryn Bigelow in The Hurt Locker, I've been sort of eager to find out if her other work is as good as her 2009, accolade-adorned masterwork. My first choice was Point Break, and as it turns out, it has the same style as The Hurt Locker. Both movies are guy flicks with underlying intelligence that raise them above the standards of their genres. Still, one can't compare Point Break and The Hurt Locker too much, simply because the latter has so much potential because it's an Iraq war film, while Point Break is just another FBI-against-bad guy fable. But Point Break earns immediate points by offering a promising story and an interesting villain. He's played by Patrick Swayze and is pursued by a young, confident FBI agent, played by Keanu Reeves. The villain is thought to be the head of a group of bank robbers known as the Ex-Presidents (they wear rubber masks of former U.S. presidents, i.e. Nixon, Reagan, Ford, ect..). But what's interesting is that when he's not robbing banks, he's at the beach surfing. He has his own philosophies about the purpose of living, and his life as a robber has nothing to do with being rich. Reeves infiltrates the surf group, hoping to find evidence and then take them down. But in the process, he forms a romantic relationship with one of the gang's female friends, as well as a subtle admiration for the leader. Point Break is so much better than the countless Hollywood action movies from the 90s. The stars, the premise, and the poster make it look like standard fare, but because it has Bigelow behind it, it goes beyond what fans of the action movie expect. I think maybe the movie looses its way towards the end, but the good news is it closes with a great scene that sums up what the story is all about.

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