Realizing that Point Break wasn't even half the awesome movie I remembered it was wasn't nearly as tragic as realizing Santa Claus wasn't real (last year was brutal,) but it was definitely close. On a scale of one to ten, ten being "it takes me three days to believe it" shocked and one being "dude, I already knew that" shocked, the Santa Realization comes in around a six, the Point Break Realization nudges a three.
Not having watched the movie unedited for a few years, I was initially pretty stoked it was on. Of course, this was Point Break, a defining movie of my middle school years. This was a killer movie with surfing, criminals in presidents' masks, Anthony Keidis of the Chili Peppers shooting his foot, and Lori Petty. As a middle schooler, I loved Point Break and I remember when we'd catch it on HBO on a lazy Saturday, for a couple of dudes from Maine, it made California look mythical. Shit, the movie made Keanu Reeves look like an actor and sleeveless shirts acceptable.
But several years later, Point Break just doesn't seem as gnarly as it used to.
It actually seems pretty dumb and really just another lame bank robber movie whose only redeeming quality is the surfing. Unfortunately the surfers are Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, one a beach bum philosopher and the other is Johnny Utah!. One character is actually named Grommet and all the surfer dudes look like a bar band from Jersey when they're not surfing. Patrick Swayze, the buddah of the goup reminds me of every annoying lot rat at a Phish show or pseudo-beach bum constantly waxing his board as opposed to riding it I've run into. He doesn't make sense! He's a terrible leader! Sure he throws cool parties, but you can't trust a dude who rolls with a biker named Rosie and wears crew neck sweatshirts.
If you're left with only question after watching Point Break, it's probably why did Bodie go for the vault?
If you're left with a second question, it's probably- what happened to Lori Petty?
And Lori Petty, well yeah dude she's cute as hell in Point Break- but it's elf-girl cute. Elf-girl cute is a cruel and deceiving kind of cute. It's a kind of cute that doesn't have much of a life span because it involves elves- elves always have an evil side. It's science, hard to explain. Bottom line is that her cuteness isn't the hotness that seemed to be there in middle school. Instead, elf girl cuteness. I don't dance with that pony anymore. But still, what happened to Lori Petty? Is she still acting? Does she maybe run a dog-walking service in Minnesota? A few weeks ago, when I was wondering when Christopher Lloyd might make a new movie, someone told me he was dead. No way I believed that. But I think if someone told me Lori Petty was dead, I would probably believe them without hesitation.
California was probably a pretty cool and interesting place in 1991 and I suppose Point Break was meant to capture that spirit, that time in history. Now though, it feels exploitative, a movie cashing in on a fad. It feels cheap.
It feels simple.
There is always a time and place for the simple in our lives, when we need things packaged in a certain way- a way that makes it the most accessible. As a middle school kid, Point Break was a guided map to our hearts. There were even some boobies!
It was simple.
Watching Point Break made me feel old- it was made in 1991, which according to calculations is an eight because shit I didn't realize how long ago that was. But just old in the same way seeing 311 made me feel old. It's just seeing that the times are changing, things are happening around you now. Nothing big, nothing major or life altering. The only thing it will change is the next time around, when I notice that Point Break is on, I won't be as inclined to watch. I'll watch something else, like the World Baseball Classic or MSNBC.
Something grown ups watch.
But still- why did Bodie go for the vault?