Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Film Club: Point Break

I believe Point Break was suggested for film club because it was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the only woman who has ever won the Oscar for Best Director, a feat just achieved in 2009 for The Hurt Locker.

I didn't know much about this film going in apart from the actors and a vague idea that it was about surfing. It's not really about surfing, though...only in a really surfacey sort of way. Not unlike The Hurt Locker, it's about adrenaline junkies and the boundaries they become willing to push in order to reach that next rush, and the collateral damage of that particular uncontrollable addiction.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but it's a pretty solid action movie with interesting interplay between the characters. Lately I almost feel like I can't watch action movies they are terrible and boring and go on and on, but the set-up for this one was kind of different. Also the underlying thematic material actually gave it an edge...there were times I genuinely didn't know what was going to happen which made it exciting and surprising to watch.

I did know the first obvious group of thugs that Utah tried to pin the robbery on would be the wrong was too obvious for one thing, and his own naive way of reading people needed to be upended. He didn't expect the nice helpful people who were his friends to turn out to be the robbers, and once he realized the truth the movie picked up steam.

I thought it was pretty great the way they pushed him to the edge. Once they knew the truth about him, they upped the game. The skydiving was particularly clever...they controlled his own emotional responses so well...fear when they kidnapped, ecstasy of the jump (which turned out to be awesome) and then the immediate crash and terror when he realized they had Tyler. Forcing him to go on the robbery and the subsequent bloodbath were all the unavoidable and inevitable consequences of the path they set on when they chose to steal from other people in order to sustain their own need for adrenaline.

It's too bad that Tyler was nothing more than a love interest complete with being kidnapped as a bargaining chip, in this otherwise male dominated film. But, fortunately, the story favored motivations and internal conflict over pure action, which made this movie more interesting to me.

Also all the waves, skydiving, scenes, etc. were really cool! It was a nice looking movie.

I was so annoyed with Bodhi at the end, though, like when he was going on about "once in a lifetime opportunity" because SO MANY PEOPLE DIED BECAUSE OF YOU. You don't get to decide how you're going to die when done so much damage you know? But whatever, the film was more concerned with the philosophy of it than the justice of it.

Also am I supposed to take Keanu Reeve's acting seriously?


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