Point Break (1991) – Reel Action

Last Updated on October 20, 2021

It’s crazy to think, but back in 1991, Keanu Reeves seemed an unlikely action hero. Then best known for the Bill & Ted movies, the studio, 20th Century Fox, took a big risk when the cast him as surfing F.B.I agent Johnny Utah in Point Break, but then again, nothing about this masterful action classic was ordinary as you’ll see in this special episode of Reel Action continuing Keanu Reeves Week here at JoBlo Videos!

Flashback to 1986, when a writer named W. Peter Iliff wrote a screenplay called Johnny Utah, which got the attention of Ridley Scott. The film came very close to being made with Matthew Broderick in the leading role, while Charlie Sheen, Val Kilmer and even Willem Dafoe were considered before the project fell apart. Can you imagine? Ferris Bueller in Point Break?? Flash forward a couple of years when the project comes across the desk of James Cameron, whose wife, Kathryn Bigelow, was looking for her next project.

At the time, Bigelow was an unusual figure in Hollywood. Tall and beautiful, she was one of the only women directing big-budget movies at the time, and unlike some of her contemporary female directors, her tastes ran towards visceral action. Her 1987 vampire flick, Near Dark, had been a cult hit, and she’d followed it up with a rare (for 1990 anyway) female fronted action movie called Blue Steel, starring Jamie Lee Curtis. While the film was not a hit, no one could deny Bigelow had a slick sense of directing, and when she and Cameron began to develop Point Break as a directing vehicle for her, all of the elements gelled. With this, she’d be making a male-driven testosterone-fueled epic, but trough a female lens which would give the film a strikingly different vibe that would make it as popular with women as with men. A rare feat. Join us as we dig into what makes this 1991 classic so legendary!

Do you love Point Break (the 1991 version – not the crap reboot) as much as we do? Let us know in the talkbacks!

Also make sure to check out our other Keanu Reeves Week videos below!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.