Monday, 9 January 2017

Films Made by Women: Point Break, directed by Kathryn Bigelow

A favourite for many film-fans of my generation, Point Break was one of those films I adored as a teenager (because, hello Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves!) and then grew to love even more as I got older and appreciated it for the genius it really is.

That this very testosterone-fuelled film is directed by a woman only makes it all the more brilliant, because it's bold and unapologetic and doesn't fit into any kind of pre-conceived notion of what a film directed by a woman is supposed to look like.

A story of bank robbery and surfing, Point Break is fun, intense, silly and dark. It's beautifully shot: there is some stunning hand-held camera work for an intimate, on-foot chase scene alongside but also equally impressive skydives and surfing sequences. (Swayze does one of the jumps on camera himself!)

Reeves and Swayze are a phenomenal pairing on screen, their performances enhanced by the support of Gary Busey, Lori Petty and the rest of the ex-presidents, and the pace never lulls, blending humour with drama and tension.

Unlike so many action films of recent years, this film blends the action flawlessly with great characterisation, a plot filled with twists and turns (and some quality one-liners!) and the captivating vision of this very talented director.

And there's just enough time left over to throw in a hint of cheese.



See also: The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty (also directed by Bigelow)

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