I grew up in southern California, and though I would never identify as a surfer, I have surfed a fair amount, and even wrote a book concerning California surf culture. This is why I never watched Point Break when it came out. The idea of bank robbing surfers and an FBI agent that instantly learns to shred, etc, seemed too stupid for me to handle. Last night I watched it on behalf of the Canon. Well, my young assumptions proved right. Escape from LA makes better use of evil surfers than this film does. Metaphorically, satirically, hyperbolically, or realistically, this film fails to capture anything authentic about the culture it endeavors to represent. But that's not what it's trying to do, right?
Okay. Let's start with this. The acting is terrible. The dialog laughably bad. The plot so dumb it practically drools. The best argument I've heard on its behalf is that it is intentionally bad, but who cares what the intention is? Bad is bad.
On the plus side, that image of Ronald Reagan torching a car with a flaming gas pump is pure gangster. The foot chase where Swayze throws the dog at Reeves is genius. The naked woman in the raid kicking Reeves' ass is pretty great, though the entire scene was only so-so to my viewing.
Otherwise, I'm not overly impressed with the bromance aspect of this film. Every macho movie ever made is a homoerotic love story. As to the claim that this film is canonical because it turned Reeves into an action hero, I say this is nothing to brag about.
In the end, this is a bad film with a few touches of real brilliance. If the canon is the beach, then Point Break is stuck in traffic in the Inland Empire.