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Film: Point Break
"100 percent pure adrenaline"

"You trying to tell me the F.B.I.'s going to pay me to learn to surf?"
Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves)

Point Break is a 1991 action film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze and Gary Busey. The title refers to the surfing term point break.

The film was a box office success upon its release, and it has since gathered a cult following. The film also contains notable celebrity cameos including Red Hot Chili Peppers front man Anthony Kiedis. There is a stage adaptation, Point Break LIVE!, in which the role of Johnny Utah is cast from the audience moments before the show starts in order to maintain the "authenticity" of the role.

In this action/crime-drama, Reeves stars as Johnny Utah, an FBI agent whose background consists of having served as a quarterback for Ohio State. Johnny and his partner Angelo Pappas, (Gary Busey) are assigned to investigate a string of bank robberies in the Los Angeles area committed by a gang nicknamed the "Ex-Presidents", due to their use of masks of former presidents during said robberies. Their investigation leads them to a group of surfers led by Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), an adrenaline-junkie who would do anything for a cheap thrill... perhaps even rob banks.

Johnny falls fast for Bodhi's ex-girlfriend Tyler (Lori Petty), who he convinces to teach him how to surf. Johnny begins to suspect Bodhi of involvement with the robberies performed by the ex-presidents, but at the same time becomes addicted to his adrenaline charged, thrill seeking lifestyle.

A remake is currently in development and set for a 2015 release. It will star Luke Bracey as Johnny Utah and Edgar Ramirez as Bodhi.


This Movie Contains Examples Of:

  • Affably Evil: Bodhi in spades
  • Always Save the Girl: Invoked. Bodhi secures Johnny's help in making his getaway by showing him footage of his girlfriend in the custody of a Psycho for Hire.
  • Anti-Villain: Many people see Bohdi as this.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: Johnny Utah. Word of God says that they wanted to give him a memorable name similar to football legend Johnny Unitas.
  • Becoming the Mask: Johnny Utah pretends to be an extreme sports enthusiast to try and find out who the Ex-Presidents are, but after learning how to surf and skydive he really does come to love extreme sports.
  • BFG: Bodhi's Freedom Arms Model 83 revolver, chambered in .454 Casull (a cartridge with almost TWICE the muzzle energy of a .44 Magnum).
  • Big "NO!": Shouted by Johnny Utah when he sees Pappas being shot in the back with a shotgun.
  • Cluster F-Bomb
  • The Comically Serious: Meta-example. Part of the film's charm is that it plays such a ridiculous premise straight without a sense of irony or self-awareness.
  • Da Chief: Supervising Agent Ben Harp.
  • Disc One Final Boss: The drug-dealing surfer thugs whom Utah initially suspects of being the Ex-Presidents.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: In the scene where Utah arrives at his new posting, he pinches a donut in passing out of a box on one of his new colleague's desks.
  • Down LA Drain: Utah chases one of the "Ex-President" bank robbers on foot, ending with him injuring his knee after jumping into the viaduct and his quarry getting away.
  • Extreme Sport Excuse Plot: A very well-known example.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: The scene where Utah empties his gun into the air instead of shooting Bodhi. This was referenced in Hot Fuzz.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: During the raid on the Surf Thugs' house, one of the FBI agents is attacked by a naked woman who had been taking a shower when the raid began.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Utah's old football injury.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Johnny Utah.
  • Hand Cannon: Bodhi's main weapon is a Freedom Arms Model 83 revolver in the .454 Casull.
  • Hero Ball: Utah has it chained to his ankle the whole time.
  • Hollywood Skydiving: Mythbusters found that you almost certainly can't hold a conversation while freefalling, but Utah could conceivably have caught up with a Bodhi by streamlining his body(though not necessarily at that altitude).
    • Most of the skydiving WAS real however, including all the shots of Swayze, an experienced skydiver who made 55 jumps for the film.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: What Roach says before Bhodi drops him off the plane bleeding to death and then leaves him for dead after he impacts to the ground.
    • And lampshaded by Utah, who reminds Bodhi that Roach feels cold because he's suffering severe blood loss and needs help.
  • It's Raining Men: Plenty of parachuting, with some hair-raising last-minute deployments.
  • Johnny McCoolname: Johnny Utah himself.
  • Karma Houdini: Bodhi. His final fate is ambiguous, but Utah still let him go either way.
  • Kick the Dog: Inverted. During a chase scene, Bodhi throws a dog at Johnny to slow him down. Johnny gives the dog a hard enough kick to send it flying away from him.
  • Large Ham: John C. McGinley as Supervising Agent Ben Harp.
  • Nixon Mask: This movie started the whole thing.
  • Older Sidekick: Angelo Pappas, although Johnny is technically his junior partner
  • One Handed Shotgun Pump: Johnny Utah does one during the firing range sequence at the beginning of the film.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The "Aussie" couldn't quite master the accent.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I am an Eff! Bee! Eeye! Agent!!"
  • Red Herring: the movie gives us a thuggish crew of surfers who Johnny initially suspects may be the Ex-Presidents. Bodhi saves him from getting beat up by them. When they bust them, it turns out that they were actually drug dealers, not thieves (and the deep cover DEA agent who was with them is pissed that the FBI ruined his operation). Of course, it's later revealed that Bodhi and his crew are the actual Ex-Presidents
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Bodhi uses a Freedom Arms Model 83 revolver when robbing the bank and uses it on an off-duty cop by shooting him point blank in the heart.
  • Right Behind Me: In the scene where Utah and Pappas first meet, Utah arrives just as Pappas is complaining about the new partner he's been assigned. He plays along and commiserates a bit before introducing himself.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Utah and Bodhi.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: A ninety-second shouting match in free-fall? That's unpossible!
  • Totally Radical: The film is more or less adored for it's Narm Charm qualities.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: This film was made during the early days of the 1990s extreme sports craze, during which the public (especially young people) became more interested in sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, skydiving, and mountain biking. The increased interest in extreme sports during the 90s would later give birth to the X Games and Winter X Games.


The People Under the StairsFilms of the 1990sPure Luck

alternative title(s): Point Break
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