POINT BREAK (Kathryn Bigelow)
Before Kathryn Bigelow had people's jaws dropped when she bagged the Oscar for Best Director for her testosterone-filled THE HURT LOCKER, she was already making films catered mainly for the male crowd, such as POINT BREAK, an edge-of-your-seat thriller that showcases Bigelow's able hand at directing action sequences; hell, she can even beat the most known male action directors around!
POINT BREAK is more than an action film-it is a moral study, where characters are neither one-sided nor flat offshoots of the action genre. In here, Keanu Reeves who is the hotshot cop arguably gives the best performance of his career, and Patrick Swayze as the surfing bank robber Bodhi is pure charisma and character acting so much that he absorbs the bank robber persona and projects it with much energy and moral dignity.
Gary Busey co-stars as Reeves' partner, and here he gives maybe the most memorable performance of his career. Having said that, I don't recall any of his films at all, save for UNDER SIEGE which was a ho-hum.
During the surfing scenes, the waves become inanimate characters, and Bigelow's vision is thrilling to watch; we see every spine-tingling rise and fall of water; we feel every splash.
In the climax scene, we see a paradigm shift, where the good guy turns bad, and the bad guy loses focus, abandoning his ideals. Then the chase and the shootout and the adrenaline never stop. As if wave surfing isn't enough, Swayze and company take on the skies for an altitude jump.
This is a an action film that feels cliched, but thanks to Bigelow's pacing and powerful finish, POINT BREAK becomes an unpredictable go-getter. There were minor setbacks (i.e. when Keanu Reeves chases Swayze who was wearing a Ronald Reagan mask, why on Earth would he forgot to bring a radio so he can call for backup?) but overall POINT BREAK is a ride worth taking.