Keanu Reeves’ First Action Movie Just Came To Netflix

Keanu Reeves' first action movie Point Break is now on Netflix.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

Before he was Neo or John Wick, Keanu Reeves played an FBI agent chasing a gang of bank robbers in the 1991 action movie Point Break, which introduced him to the action genre on-screen. Now that movie is available to view on Netflix, having recently been added to the streamer’s library. This nuanced film has good reviews and a loyal cult following.

keanu reeves

Starring alongside Keanu Reeves is the late Patrick Swayze in one of his best-known roles as Bodhi, the leader of a quartet of surfers that are robbing banks as a gang called the Ex-Presidents, named after the masks they wear while committing their crimes. The cast also includes Gary Busey as Reeves’ superior in the FBI and Lori Petty as his love interest. It was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, who also developed the script based on a story by W. Peter Iliff.

The story is about the nuanced relationship between Keanu Reeves’ character, Johnny Utah, and Bodhi as the FBI agent works his way into the surfer’s world. Bodhi is an adrenaline junkie, his life a wild ride of surfing high waves, jumping from planes, and methodically robbing banks. His ultimate dream is to surf during a severe storm.

As Johnny is drawn further into Bodhi’s world, lines between right and wrong become blurred and their relationship becomes more nuanced. The powerful performances of both Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze convey the layers of their relationship right through their final confrontation. Both characters are forced to consider what is important in their lives just because they know each other.

Point Break shares some qualities with The Fast and the Furious if characters from the latter had ridden surfboards instead of driving cars. In between the surfing, the chase scenes, and the wild ride Bodhi takes the movie’s viewers on is an exploration of the same themes of loyalty and betrayal. Point Break predates The Fast and the Furious, but the two movies sample these themes in different ways and with different personalities.

During its original release in theaters in 1991, Point Break grossed $83.5 million. It was received with mixed reviews by critics, but many of them praised director Kathryn Bigelow’s vision of the material. Bigelow would go on to become the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker in 2010.

Patrick Swayze is also known for his lead roles in Ghost and Dirty Dancing. He was a dancer, singer, martial artist, ice skater, and football player at different points in his youth, putting this variety of talents to work in his films. He tragically passed away in 2009 of cancer that was brought on by a lifetime of heavy smoking.

keanu reeves

Keanu Reeves has gone on to star in a wide variety of films, ranging from action epics like The Matrix and John Wick to creepy villains in The Gift and Man of Tai Chi. He even provided his voice and likeness to the CD Projekt Red video game Cyberpunk 2077 as Johnny Silverhand, a rock star and a central figure of Mike Pondsmith’s Night City universe. He is also well-known as Ted “Theodore” Logan from the Bill and Ted movies.

Before production, the two stars and co-star Lori Petty were brought to Kauai, Hawaii to train with professional surfer Dennis Jarvis for the movie because none of them had very much experience. Keanu Reeves wound up enjoying surfing so much that he took it up as a hobby after production was over. He even has a custom board constructed for him by Jarvis himself.

Point Break drew such a cult following that a remake was released in 2015. This version of the story follows Johnny, Bodhi, and the rest of the characters around the world as they try to complete a series of extreme sports challenges that run concurrently with their international bank robberies. While the two movies have different types of action sequences and different stakes, they are similar in theme.

However, there is nothing like the original, with the acclaimed direction of Bigelow and the stellar performances from Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. Fans can catch Point Break on Netflix right now and take in this classic that introduced Keanu Reeves as the action star he has become today.