This moderately successful film was released 15 years ago when Patrick Swayze was still though of as 'cool', Lori Petty was a potential 'it' girl and we still gave Keanu Reeve's acting the benefit of the doubt. None is true today and as such the film suffers somewhat as a result. It is still a good quality action film, but the plot is fairly weak. The film revolves around the world of surfing and the power and allure of the ocean. All actors in the film use the lingo and are the epitome of the whole culture. The surfing scenes are quite realistic in that Reeves and especially Swayze did their own surfing for the film and as such close ups of them surfing are great. For adrenaline junkies there are plenty of surf scenes, foot chases and sky diving to keep your interest. Director Kathryn Bigelow (K-19: The Widowmaker, Blue Steel) does know how to keep the action on a high level and film action sequences. It seems like her time married to director James Cameron (Titanic) did rub off on her. You have to be really into these scenes in order to ignore the rather cheesy dialogue that goes on. It definitely inspired some eye rolling out of this watcher. But let's not fool ourselves anyone who is watching this film does not care about what the characters are saying and just want them to do and do and do.
Young FBI rookie Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves – Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Speed) is on his first assignment with his experienced partner Angelo Pappas (Gary Busey – Lost Highway, The Firm). The assignment turns out to be to capture a gang of bank robbers who call themselves 'The Ex-Presidents'. Utah and soon figure out that the robbers must be a gang of surfers and so Utah decides to infiltrate the surfing scene. He learns to surf from Tyler (Lori Petty – Tank Girl, A League of Their Own), who is doubtful in the beginning but Utah's dedication wins her over. Tyler introduces Utah to Bodhi (Patrick Swayze – Dirty Dancing, Keeping Mum), who is the leader of an ultra-cool surfing gang. Utah really learns to love surfing and is really enjoying the living life on the edge attitude of Bodhi's gang. Soon Utah finds himself having to choose between the FBI and his newfound love of surfing.
-It's Make Or Break
-Ride The Wave
-On Location: Malibu
-Previews of Jumper, Man on Fire, Live Free or Die Hard, and Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer