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Point Break: 10 Things That Still Hold Up Today | ScreenRant

Bromance is usually confined to comedies like Superbad and I Love You, Man, but Kathryn Bigelow brought a bromantic plot to the action genre with her 1991 hit, Point Break. In the film, Keanu Reeves plays an FBI agent who embeds himself undercover with a group of surfers and adrenaline junkies he suspects are also bank robbers. Reeves quickly falls under the sway of the group's charasmatic leader, played by Patrick Swayze.

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While the movie’s dull 2015 remake had been erased from audiences’ minds before the end credits rolled, the 1991 original remains a timeless action classic, thanks to these undeniable chemistry and tension between the two lead characters, the implausible but entertaining premise, and many other factors that still hold up.

10 Keanu Reeves & Patrick Swayze’s Chemistry

The unique selling point of Point Break is the core relationship between the two main characters. Undercover FBI agent Johnny Utah becomes such close friends with bank robber Bodhi that he can’t bring himself to turn him over to the feds.

This premise wouldn’t work nearly as well if the two lead actors didn’t share the electric on-screen chemistry that the perfectly paired Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze did.

9 The Delightfully Absurd Premise

On paper, the premise of Point Break sounds ludicrous: An ex-football star gets a job at the FBI where he’s sent to embed himself in a group of surfers who also rob banks on the side.

Yet all the best action movies start with a delightfully absurd premise. Die Hard is about terrorists attacking an office Christmas party. Face/Off is about a hero and villain switching faces. Speed, also starring Keanu Reeves, is about a bus that’s rigged to blow up if it slows down. Point Break’s ridiculous premise makes it unique movie.

8 Kathryn Bigelow’s Kinetic Direction

Kathryn Bigelow was an interesting choice to direct Point Break. Now that she’s primarily known for Oscar-winning true-to-life thrillers like The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, this wacky buddy action movie stands out as an oddity in her filmography.

But Bigelow’s kinetic direction brought Point Break’s action to life. For example, her use of handheld cameras and tracking shots for the film’s foot chases put the audience in the characters’ shoes (so to speak).

7 Character-Driven Storytelling

Action filmmakers often don’t bother to come up with unique characters or an engaging plot because audiences will show up to see shootouts, car chases, and explosions. But the action won’t connect with audiences as much if they don’t care about the characters.

RELATED: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Point Break (1991)

In Point Break, there are plenty of exciting fight scenes and chase sequences, but the storytelling is driven by the two lead characters’ dynamic. All the action stems from Utah’s troubled friendship with Bodhi.

6 The Varied Soundtrack

While Point Break has an original score composed by Mark Isham, the movie’s greatest use of music is its licensing of existing hits. There’s a wide variety of pop songs in the Point Break soundtrack.

The movie makes effective use of such disparate yet memorable tracks as The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “If 6 Was 9,” L.A. Guns’ “Over the Edge,” Ratt’s “Nobody Rides for Free,” Ice-T’s “Original Gangster,” Love’s “7 and 7 Is,” and Sheryl Crow’s “Hundreds of Tears.”

5 Gary Busey’s Offbeat Turn As Angelo Pappas

Gary Busey’s offbeat turn as Utah’s eccentric partner Angelo Pappas in Point Break is the quintessential Gary Busey performance. In all of his scenes, Busey is totally unpredictable.

Most action movies have generic law enforcement archetypes, but Busey’s wild performance ensures that Utah’s fellow crimefighter is far from a generic law enforcement stereotype. Angelo has some truly bonkers lines of dialogue, including an unforgettable one about a dead rhino.

4 The Thrill Of The Skydiving Sequence

There are a ton of thrilling set pieces in Point Break, from the botched FBI raid to the foot chase through some unsuspecting people’s houses.

But arguably the movie’s most breathtaking action scene is the skydiving sequence in which Utah and Bodhi play “chicken” with their parachutes. According to Looper, while Reeves allowed his stunt double to take over, Swayze himself jumped out of a plane for the scene.

3 It Doesn’t Take Itself Too Seriously

There’s plenty of room at multiplexes for thought-provoking Oscar-bait dramas, but audiences often go to the movies to have a good time with some fun, escapist entertainment that allows them to switch off their brains for a couple of hours.

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That’s where genre movies like Point Break that don’t take themselves too seriously come in handy. In addition to inspiring the premise of The Fast Saga, the unashamedly zany Point Break also inspired its self-effacing tone.

2 Bodhi’s Philosophies

Patrick Swayze was perfectly cast as Bodhi because he’s charismatic enough to convince audiences that an FBI agent would be so charmed by him that he’d turn his back on the law, and because he brilliantly sold Bodhi’s zen philosophies.

Bodhi is a very spiritual character who lives both on the edge and in the moment, which audiences can look up to. Bodhi’s “live fast, die young” lifestyle can still connect with today’s youths.

1 The Melancholic Ending

While the climax of Point Break is set up as a big, action-packed FBI raid, the epilogue actually turns out surprisingly somber and cerebral. Utah tracks down and confronts Bodhi, but ultimately decides to let him go as the surfer is determined to ride a legendary wave that will probably claim his life.

There’s a melancholic quality to Bodhi accepting his fate and surfing out into the fabled “50-Year Storm” to die. Utah tossing his FBI badge into the ocean is a cliché, but it works beautifully with the quirky tone of this movie.

NEXT: 10 Ways True Romance Still Holds Up Today

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