Viking Night: Point Break
By Bruce Hall
June 2, 2015
Keanu. Gary Busey. Lori Petty. The Swayze. Damn. If I could go back in time to 1991 and pick that cast out of a hat, I would make a movie with them. Any movie. Any movie at all. And I would wear the hat the whole time. And it would be worth it. Despite the cornball dialogue, despite the stock characters, and despite a premise insane enough to make Busey look like a college professor - it would be legendary. I would be legendary for directing it. Hell, I might even go on to win an Oscar one day. But there I go again, dreaming too big and getting ahead of myself again. Someone already made that film, and someone already took my Oscar.
Of course that bastard James Cameron was involved somehow. First, he stole my idea about naked, verbally challenged robots enslaving humanity. Then, his wife beat me to the punch and made a movie about Ted’s Excellent Adventure fighting crime on a surfboard.
And that film was called...Point Break.
Wow, was it really that long ago? I mean, so much has changed since 1991. Nobody could decide whether Keanu was talented or not. Lori Petty is reportedly nutty as a Snickers bar. Gary Busey might not be human. Patrick Swayze...well...okay. The more things change, the more they stay the same, and some things are eternal. Dead or alive, Swayze is as Swayze does. So speaking of the dead, someone decided to resurrect Point Break. If you’re like me, and believe everything you read on the Internet, this has apparently caused a lot of people a lot of sleepless nights. There are more than a few people on earth who are into Point Break the way some people are into Star Wars. Sad?
Well…a little. I like Star Wars, but the chain came off my bike the other day, and that upset me a lot more than Jar-Jar Binks did. Still, people like what people like, and Swayze is as Swayze does. So what’s the big deal with Point Break? Keanu. Busey. Swayze. Surfing. Extreme sports laced with proto-Zen underpinnings.
How could you NOT be obsessed with that?
The story is simple. Southern California is rocked by a string of bank robberies, courtesy of a gang calling themselves the “Ex-Presidents.” They wear rubber masks bearing the likeness of - at the time - the previous four American presidents, and knock over the Golden State’s most prestigious financial institutions - in character. It’s really kind of amusing. As the film opens, they’ve struck almost two dozen times, somehow never hurting anyone in the process and each time getting away clean. Enter Special Agent Johnny Utah, former college football star turned undercover FBI agent.
Yeah, that’s right. Sonny Crockett wasn’t answering his phone, so the FBI hired the second most recognizable deep cover agent of all time. Utah is a tenacious overachiever who succeeds at everything he does, having abandoned football only due to a knee injury. He's paired with Angelo Pappas, an eccentric, cynical veteran of both police work and, of course, Vietnam. Pappas has been tracking the Ex-Presidents for years but has all but given up, both because it's hard, and because he's lacked an appropriately hunky sidekick to motivate his competitive spirit.