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For starters, I want to say I found the portrayal of women in Point Break to be a lot better than in other action movies! That said, the bar is the floor.

Plot is: an undercover FBI agent Johnny is trying to bust a crime ring inside the surfer culture of california.

The female lead of the movie Tyler is manipulated by the main character Johnny to get inside surf culture. He lies to her that his parents are dead because he knows her parents are dead.

However, Tyler's agency is powerful on screen. She is sexualized very little (compared to other movies, there are scenes where it's happening obv), and when she is, she's clearly uncomfortable with it. Also when she finds out he lied to her she shoots at the pillow near him with a gun to freak him out. Most scenes with Tyler she is wearing athletic clothes, people treat her as an equal when she plays flag football with them on the beach, and in scenes where she is naked her breasts are not showing. The sex scene is purely implication and there is only kissing. When guys are talking about how they want to do increasingly dangerous and life-threatening surfs, Tyler walks away saying "There's too much testosterone here". She is characterized as both spiritual and intelligent.

Bad scene: Tyler is held hostage tied up in a nightgown. It's nice they put her in a nightgown instead of just a bra like in other movies, though. Yes the bar is maybe even under the floor.

Bad scene with female characters who are not the lead: during a house raid, there are women in the shower. Naked women are traumatized by the combination of the raid and their presumably boyfriends/partners having guns. The shower door for example gets shot and breaks with her still in there which I feel like was sort of unnecessary. The naked woman is a skilled fighter though, she doesn't act weakly, and her rage and her fighting is actually a compelling part of the raid scene.

Final rundown: Tyler is a compelling character but ultimately still serves only as an accessory to men, whether it be teaching a man how to surf, being seen as someone who can be possessed by the men of the surf culture, or by being held hostage. Also the romance comes secondary to the main plot which is ultimately man-to-man. It does not pass the bechdel test of course. Still I am pleased that no sexual assaults are shown onscreen, despite violence occuring around naked/vulnerable women in the raid scene. I also find that Tyler's contribution is more emotional than visually ornamental, which is still female labor for a male character, but a lot of times in action movies the female character only serves as eye candy, and Tyler doesn't.

Better than some movies, honestly better portrayal of women than a lot of media from the last ten years, but still not great by any means.

For starters, I want to say I found the portrayal of women in Point Break to be a lot better than in other action movies! That said, the bar is the floor. Plot is: an undercover FBI agent Johnny is trying to bust a crime ring inside the surfer culture of california. The female lead of the movie Tyler is manipulated by the main character Johnny to get inside surf culture. He lies to her that his parents are dead because he knows her parents are dead. However, Tyler's agency is powerful on screen. She is sexualized very little (compared to other movies, there are scenes where it's happening obv), and when she is, she's clearly uncomfortable with it. Also when she finds out he lied to her she shoots at the pillow near him with a gun to freak him out. Most scenes with Tyler she is wearing athletic clothes, people treat her as an equal when she plays flag football with them on the beach, and in scenes where she is naked her breasts are not showing. The sex scene is purely implication and there is only kissing. When guys are talking about how they want to do increasingly dangerous and life-threatening surfs, Tyler walks away saying "There's too much testosterone here". She is characterized as both spiritual and intelligent. Bad scene: Tyler is held hostage tied up in a nightgown. It's nice they put her in a nightgown instead of just a bra like in other movies, though. Yes the bar is maybe even under the floor. Bad scene with female characters who are not the lead: during a house raid, there are women in the shower. Naked women are traumatized by the combination of the raid and their presumably boyfriends/partners having guns. The shower door for example gets shot and breaks with her still in there which I feel like was sort of unnecessary. The naked woman is a skilled fighter though, she doesn't act weakly, and her rage and her fighting is actually a compelling part of the raid scene. Final rundown: Tyler is a compelling character but ultimately still serves only as an accessory to men, whether it be teaching a man how to surf, being seen as someone who can be possessed by the men of the surf culture, or by being held hostage. Also the romance comes secondary to the main plot which is ultimately man-to-man. It does not pass the bechdel test of course. Still I am pleased that no sexual assaults are shown onscreen, despite violence occuring around naked/vulnerable women in the raid scene. I also find that Tyler's contribution is more emotional than visually ornamental, which is still female labor for a male character, but a lot of times in action movies the female character only serves as eye candy, and Tyler doesn't. Better than some movies, honestly better portrayal of women than a lot of media from the last ten years, but still not great by any means.

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So FYI, the director of Point Break is Kathryn Bigelow, who is the only women director in history to have ever won an Oscar for Best Director (and she won it when the Oscars were still culturally relevant). She won for The Hurt Locker (beating out her ex-husband and fellow contender that year James Cameron). Her being the director probably has a lot to do with why the female lead was so well portrayed.

And it's really quite a feat for a woman director to have made a film that has become a cult classic.

Oh wow. I was making a snack during the opening credits so I didn't realize it was directed by a woman. The movie itself was honestly so beautiful, the framing of the shots and whatnot. I really loved the surfing water visuals, incredibly powerful. She definitely has a very artful eye

I also like that Tyler is completely (and appropriately) angry when she discovers that Johnny has been lying to her all along, and at the film's end there is no implication that she has forgiven him or taken him back. It's possible for viewers to interpret things differently because there's no clear resolution, but the way it always came across to me was that she dumped his lying ass, did not forgive him, and was not going to take him back later. Very atypical for an action film and a very sensible thing for her to do, which is a good arc for her character as she clearly begins with questionable taste in friends and boyfriends.

She does seem grateful for his rescue at the end but I did think it was interesting the final scene isn't about her and him at all, it's about johnny and the bodhi.

Exactly. She does grab onto Johnny but of course she's going to be happy at no longer being held hostage at gunpoint. She knows Johnny is a crap boyfriend but at the same time she knows he will definitely get her away from the guys who might kill her. There's no "Oh, Johnny I love you" or anything like that.

And while Tyler's fate is open at the end, the reason I think she bailed and never saw Johnny again is that he goes alone to Australia. The FBI has no jurisdiction there and Johnny has no right or ability to extradite Bodhi. A pragmatic character like Tyler would want nothing to do with such a dangerous and stupid plan. Also, tracking down your psycho ex-brofriend and quitting your job in super dramatic fashion is very much something a guy who has been dumped would do.

I really love Point Break. All of the characters are so complex and it is a throwback to when movies were just for fun.

[–] ElleGeeBee 2 points Edited

I watched this movie recently because I wanted to understand the reference of Tony Stark calling Thor "Point Break" in the Marvel movies 😅. I saw it maybe about a month ago.

The movie itself is not terrible, but it's not great, either. Your typical 90s action flick. Hated the ending, loved the cinematography, though. 30 years later, Keanu Reeves still cannot act, but he's still fun to watch. 😂

But I digress. To your point, I think Tyler was written well because the movie was directed by a woman---Kathryn Bigelow, to be exact. I wouldn't be surprised if the raid scene was forced by studio execs because what action movie doesn't have a proper amount of gratuitous violence and nudity, amirite? ••eye roll•• I get it was a plot device, but they didn't have to be so heavy handed with it.

loved the cinematography, though. 30 years later, Keanu Reeves still cannot act, but he's still fun to watch. 😂

Lmao love this. The framing of everything was honestly beautoful. And I didn't realize it was directed by a woman prior because I missed the opening credits while making some food.

I was okay with the end but it really pissed me off that garey busey's character died though lol

The fact that we're sad when Gary Busey dies means that he was a character worth caring about! Something we get less often these days.