The Unheralded Greatness of Point Break

Illustration for article titled The Unheralded Greatness of Point Break

I have been espousing the greatness of Point Break as long as the movie has been in existence. Point Break is the life lesson every punk ass teenager needs to have drilled into their tiny brains.


Young Johnny Utah, a native Ohioan, with his blank slate of a brain and million dollar arm gets recruited to play football at Ohio State University (probably by Woody Hayes). Utah leads them to the Rose Bowl and blows up his knee in the process. Johnny's young dreams of NFL super stardom are crushed, and he does what his parents always want him to do. He becomes an FBI agent. Makes sense so far.

Except young Johnny doesn't even like football nor does he want to be a cop, but Woody convinced young Johnny that if he majored in Criminal Science, he would pass with no question. He somehow ends up in the FBI, get's transferred to Los Angeles and promptly joins the bank robbing division. His superior, the excellent John C. McGinley, assigns them to infiltrate a bank robbing gang known as the Ex-Presidents.


Sidebar: How great is it when McGinley asks if Utah eats healthy, Utah replies with "I take the skin off chicken" and then grabs a doughnut 3 seconds later.

Bodhi, the leader of the aforementioned bank-robbing surfer gang, is the opposite of Johnny. His days are filled with surfing and nights fornicating and quoting philosophy around the campfire on the beach. THIS IS THE TYPE OF LIFE I WAS LED TO BELIEVE WAS POSSIBLE. THANKS A LOT EVERY MILLER LITE COMMERCIAL EVER MADE.


He also does a little bit of bank robbing to pay the bills. This is who we all want to be. The unattached sex machine with the body of a Greek statue. This is who Johnny always wanted to be when he grew up but never realized it was a possibility until he was confronted with the flesh and blood version of his better self.

After successfully infiltrating the group (fuck you Fast and Furious, Kathryn Bigelow did it better), Johnny falls under the spell of Bodhi and a shapely young tart named Tyler. Trapped in the FBI with lifers John C. McGinley and Gary Busey and no clear exit plan, this is the life he never knew he wanted. Beach football, beer, and bonfires? Fuck yes. Sign us all up for summers like that.


Johnny has to blow his cover to his new best friend when he catches the Ex-Presidents robbing a bank. After a fun little car chase, Johnny chases Bodhi through some backyards and is rewarded with a pit bull being tossed in his face.

At the climax of the foot chase, he has the opportunity to shoot Bodhi and end his Endless Summer. Instead he releases a guttural scream and empties his clip towards the heavens. Given the opportunity to kill his better half and advance his career, Utah flinches, seeing his own future flash before his eyes.


This may be the last great performance of Gary Busey, before medical issues changed him to an insane husk of a caricature of his former self. He serves as Johnny's Ghost of Christmas Future, foreshadowing his eventual turn to the jaded cop living in the greatness of the past vs the awfulness of the present.

Johnny eventually tracks Bodhi down after a chase covering several continents (including the unclaimed piece of meat named Rosie). Instead of arresting Bodhi, he let's him surf the 50 year storm at Bell's Beach, presumably to his death. Utah mic drops his badge in the ocean and hopefully becomes the new Bodhi.

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