Surf’s up this week, as we find something The Unenthusiastic Critic can actually be enthusiastic about: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, and the homoerotic bromance they share in Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 surfer-bandito movie Point Break (1991).
First, we’re attempting to settle one of the most pressing questions in all of cinematic study: Is Keanu Reeves the worst actor you’ve ever seen, the worst actor ever, or the worst actor you’ve ever seen ever? Or—as Nakea stubbornly and inexplicably maintains—could he possible be the greatest actor of his generation?
Then, we’re settling in for our first viewing of Bigelow’s cult-classic “wet western,” a movie Nakea has never seen, and which Michael actively avoided.
It’s one of our longest discussions ever: Nakea didn’t always have much to say about some of the critically-acclaimed classics we’ve watched, but she could talk all day about Point Break, its two pretty stars, and its beguiling mixture of faux-zen spirituality and faux-insightful political “commentary.”
Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learning how, come on a bank robbery with me…
0:00: Prologue: Keanu Reeves in Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
0:55: Preliminary Discussion: Keanu Reeves
19:12: Interlude: Keanu Reeves in Parenthood (1989)
19:50: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
28:57: Original Trailer for Point Break
30:49: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
1:33:34: Outro and Next Week’s Movie
Notes and Links
—Movie Reviewed: Point Break (dir. Kathryn Bigelow, Largo, 1991).
—Prologue from Much Ado About Nothing (dir. Kenneth Branagh, Samuel Goldwyn, 1993).
—Interlude from Parenthood (dir. Ron Howard, Imagine, 1989).
—Articles Mentioned: Reviews of Point Break by Roger Ebert (rogerebert.com), Hal Hinson (Washington Post); “Point Break At 25: Is It A Great Bad Movie Or Just A Great Movie?,” Vince Mancini, UpRoxx; “Revisiting Hours: Point Break Is the Greatest Female-Gaze Action Movie Ever,” April Wolfe, Rolling Stone; “Why Keanu Reeves is a Perfect Action Star,” Peter Suderman, Vox.
—Video quoted: “Keanu Reeves’ Poor Acting in Dracula,” by user sphale96, YouTube.
—Find additional episodes, leave a comment, or make a donation to support the podcast at unaffiliatedcritic.com.
—Email us, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. (Suggestions of movies to watch for future episodes are very welcome.)
—”Warm Duck Shuffle” by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.