Point Break

I’ve been waxing lyrical recently on some critically revered flicks and their rare confluences of casting, writing and execution to form classics for the ages. But it’s not just drama masterpieces that spawn a classic. If those elements are present, even the most critically ignored genres, such as horror and action, those kinds of films can also join that very short list. And in 1991, Kathryn Bigelow delivered an action film that did exactly that.

"knows what it is, executes it at the highest level and lands with a stunning effective end product"

With a taut script by W. Peter Iliff (so taut that it was xeroxed a decade later into The Fast and the Furious), stunning photography by Donald Peterman and a stellar cast, led by Patrick Swayze (*RIP) and the nicest guy in Hollywood, Keanu Reeves, Point Break tells the story of rookie FBI agent, Johnny Utah (Reeves). He goes undercover as a surfer dude to find a group of masked bank robbers his new partner, Pappas (Gary Busy), suspects are surfers. He befriends blonde bohemian Bodhi (Swayze) and his group and gets sucked into their hedonistic, carefree lifestyle, going as far as to fall in love with Bohdi’s ex, Tyler (Lori Petty). With a hilarious director (John C. McGinley) breathing down his neck, and more banks getting fleeced, the shit really hits the fan when Utah and his men arrest the wrong gang, and he discovers that Bodhi and his gang are the real bad guys—and they have his girl.Point Break

The plot is fairly simple, but t he characters engage and grip you immediately. The chemistry between Swayze and Reeves is electric. The entire cast elevate every role from formulaic to memorable. The action is kinetic, unrelenting and thrilling. Bodhi exposes pseudo-spiritual platitudes, but I’ll be damned if you don’t start buying into them. It really does make him charismatic and dangerous, in that cult leader sort of way. There is great humour that brings levity before the storm. The momentum of the flick escalates effectively, delivering humour, romance, bromance and real danger right up until the end.

This was, by far, one of the greatest action flicks of the 1990s (one of three to star Reeves, no less). The less said about the god-awful remake the better. Fast and the Furious literally stole the plot of this film and went on to a litany of unending sequels, but neither it nor the insipid remake can hold a candle to the magic in the bottle of the original.

Point Break knows what it is, executes it at the highest level and lands with a stunning effective end product. Absolute gold.
4/5 stars


Point Break

4k details divider

Collector's Edition / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- December 5, 2023
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray locked to Region A

Cannot emphasise enough how excited I was to hear that a UHD of this film was coming. It’s a seemingly generous package that Kino Lorber has licenced to release, but as we dig a little deeper I’ll explain how much reuse there is within.


SUPERB! Shout Factory hit a home run with this new 2160p 4K scan of an inter-positive. HDR takes this presentation into the stratosphere, high above all previous releases. The DOLBY Vision/HDR10 colours are bolder, warmer and in many cases spectacular. Contrast and delineation are really effective (there is a new sense of threatening dimension in all the skydiving scenes). Shadows and highlights really pop in this print. Flesh tones are natural, for the most part, leaning heavier into warm tones than the past, but with finer detail showing off the heat of the summer. DNR is carefully applied and consistent, retaining grain structure (thus detail) awesomely. It doesn’t get much better than this.


Well, as always, I will have a sook about not availing the use of a UHD disc for a new 7.1 mix. Having got that out of the way, this reused DTS-HD 5.1 mix is about as good as it gets. Replete with heavy base and stunningly immersive directionality, you feel the waves curling around you. You leap in excitement at the sound effects, from the awesome foot chase to the gunfire and explosions. Dialogue is centred, scenes specific (it sounds like Swayze is talking under a Reagan mask or in an opened aircraft) and clean. They can (and probably should) argue that this didn’t need the extra two overheads but I still wanted to hear it.



  • None

Special Features:

SIGH… Fuck all. Nothing on the 4K. Piss weak little reused ‘featurettes’ on the included blu ray. Cover uses the original poster art (welcomely) in both the keep case and the slipcover. Sadly, there is no reversible artwork. As is the case with many releases these days, minimal effort is being placed in supplementals. Was hoping Shout might go to town on this one, as they have done with many other titles, but sadly not here.

  • It's Make or Break
  • Ride the Wave
  • On Location: Malibu
  • Adrenaline Junkies
  • Additional Scenes
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer 1
  • Theatrical Trailer 2
  • Theatrical Trailer 3

4k rating divider

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 2/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars

Film Details

Point Break

MPAA Rating: R.
122 mins
: Kathryn Bigelow
Rick King; W. Peter Iliff
Patrick Swayze; Keanu Reeves; Gary Busey
: Action | Thriller
1005 Pure Adrenaline.
Memorable Movie Quote: "If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love."
Theatrical Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox
Official Site: https://shoutfactory.com/products/point-break-collectors-edition?variant=40248119033990
Release Date:
July 12, 1991
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 5, 2023.
Synopsis: An F.B.I. Agent goes undercover to catch a gang of surfers who may be bank robbers.


Point Break