Point Break (1991) 4K Review

Dec 04, 2023 01:27 PM EST
By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

With memorable lines and scenes, Point Break offered a slice of life many don't get to experience but wish they did.

In surfing, the term point break is slang for the location where a wave breaks as it hits a point of land jutting out from the coastline.  Typically, point breaks are great for beginners because the wave can be ridden for a long time as it wraps around a headland.  Point Break is also the name of one of the most popular surfing films made.  The film starred Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing), Keanu Reeves (John Wick), Gary Busey (Lethal Weapon), and Lori Petty (A League of Their Own) and was directed by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker). While it had decent box office numbers back in 1991, it has since become a cult classic thanks to Shout! Factory, the film is getting a new Collector's Edition 4K release.

Ex-college football star turned FBI Agent, Johnny Utah (Reeves) finds himself in Los Angeles partnered with forty-something-year-old Agent Angelo Pappas (Busey). In the bank robbery capital of the world, the ex-presidents have gotten quite a reputation and Pappas has Utah working undercover on his wild theory that the ex-presidents are a group of surfers.  The deeper Utah goes though, the more he starts to understand and relate to the criminals, jeopardizing the mission. 

Before there was Neo in Speed, The Matrix, or John Wick, there was Johnny Utah and though Reeves might not have been the first choice to play the young, FBI agent, he ultimately made the role his own.  Working opposite Swayze who played Bodhi, the leader and "spiritual guide" of the ex-presidents, and Busey, Reeves comes across as the novice though he had already been in several films including co-starring in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Petty does a good job portraying a surfer girl who teaches Johnny to surf while they become romantically entangled.

Bigelow shows signs of the great director she will eventually become with Point Break.  Shots of ocean spray flying up and filling the screen with water droplets give the viewer the feeling as if they too are on a surfboard hoping to catch the next wave. The pacing of the movie works well and the film never drags. 

The Dolby Vision video quality, which is a 4K scan of the original master, is hit or miss.  When the visuals hit they are sharp and clean and look excellent but when they miss (mainly some of the outdoor, beach/ocean scenes) they miss spectacularly.  There are scenes that, regardless of the time of day, seem underexposed and look not only hazing but almost black and white. 

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 fares much better as far as the quality goes.  The lower tones vibrate nicely especially as the waves crash and the dialogue is easy to hear and understand. Gunshots echo and bounce, coming from all over and the music is not overpowering but mixed in well with the rest of the ambient noise.  All of the extras included in this combo pack were previously released. They include: It's Make or Break, Ride the Wave, On Location: Malibu, Adrenaline Junkies, Additional Scenes, Image Gallery, Theatrical Trailer #1, Theatrical Trailer #2, and Theatrical Trailer #3.

Less than ten years ago a remake of Point Break was released but had a poor showing at the box office.  If I had to theorize as to why, I would say because 1) it wasn't as well made as the original, and 2) the original isn't that old and, as a cult classic, it was too soon to try a reboot.

With memorable lines and scenes, Point Break offered a slice of life many don't get to experience but wish they did. It offered a look at individuals who had a carefree way of life with philosophical beliefs and who were willing to do whatever was necessary to support their nomadic, "hippie" dreams while searching for the ultimate ride.

Grade: B+


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For more information about Point Break visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Point Break images are courtesy of 20th Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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