The Keanu Reeves classic Point Break is free to stream on Tubi.
Before he was John Wick or even Neo, Keanu Reeves was Johnny Utah in the 1991 cult classic Point Break. Starring alongside Lori Petty, Gary Busey, and the inimitable Patrick Swayze, Reeves delivers his signature charm in this crime thriller infused with extreme sports, goofy fun, and the meaning of life. All the magic of Point Break is streaming for free on Tubi.
Keanu Reeves leads the way in Point Break as a young, stuck-up FBI agent tasked with solving a string of bank robberies in Los Angeles. He teams up with Agent Pappas, played by Gary Busey, who believes the robbers they are looking for are surfers.
Johnny Utah gets a board and hits the beaches of LA to infiltrate the surfing community and find his bad guys. His undercover mission sparks a romance with Tyler, played by Lori Petty, and he befriends a man named Bodhi, played by Patrick Swayze.
Swayze provides a striking contrast to Keanu Reeves. Bodhi is a wild man; his luscious, blonde locks, toned physique, and daredevil personality make him a magnetic beacon of vitality. To him, surfing is just one way to live at the edge of the human experience, a lifestyle he stops at nothing to pursue.
Meanwhile, Keanu Reeves delivers the straight-laced persona of Johnny Utah. As the two become friends, Bodhi opens Utah’s world to life at the extreme. Utah’s enlightenment is interrupted when he finds out that Bodhi and his beach bum friends are the bank robbers he has been looking for. Known as the Ex-Presidents, they pull off heists in the name of adventure, using stolen cash to fund their endless summers.
The beauty of Point Break, beyond the gorgeous people who star in it, is that it does not take itself too seriously. It is a ridiculous movie, and director Kathryn Bigelow knows it. That acknowledgment allows her to infuse the movie with fun and even achieve genuine charm and humanity while she’s at it.
Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze are all in for Point Break. These committed actors and Petty learned to surf for the film. Swayze refused to have a stunt double for the surfing sequences, and Reeves kept up surfing as a hobby after the film wrapped. Patrick Swayze also did his own skydiving jumps for the film, adding a degree of genuine danger and thrill to the film.
Point Break was written by W. Peter Iliff, but Kathryn Bigelow and her husband at the time, James Cameron, said they also did considerable work to get the screenplay up to snuff. Keanu Reeves eventually earned the role of Johnny Utah, but actors like Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick, and Val Kilmer had all been considered for the part beforehand. Those stars were circling an earlier version of Point Break that failed to get off the ground in the mid-80s.
When Point Break was finally released in theaters, audiences embraced the fun. The film earned a box office total of $83.5 million, going up against hits like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, directed by James Cameron. It also kicked Keanu Reeves off as an action hero, a moniker he would perfect later with films like Speed, The Matrix, and John Wick.
Critics met Point Break with mixed reviews, but the film has endured as a cult classic. It is cheesy but tons of fun, and it does tap into some worthwhile ideas about what it means to be alive. A philosophical and spiritual component to this action flick (not to mention Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze achieving peak handsomeness) sets it apart and has given it an enduring legacy.
Point Break is referenced in movies like Hot Fuzz and Marvel’s The Avengers. It inspired a live production and, much to fans’ disappointment, an ill-fated 2015 reboot. The remake doubled down on extreme sports, adding snowboarding, rock climbing, and base jumping to the repertoire. What it forgot to add was fun.
2015’s Point Break lacked the charisma that Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, and Kathryn Bigelow imbued the original with. The reboot plummeted to an 11 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, but still managed to nab $133 million at the box office. That is perhaps the greatest stunt that can be attributed to this joyless imitation.
Point Break is not a perfect movie. But who cares? It’s awesome! It is essential viewing for fans of Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, and 90s movies. It will charm you into wanting to surf, skydive, and live life to the fullest.
That makes summertime the best time to head to Tubi and ride the wave of Point Break all the way to the shores of cinematic excellence.