Point Break

 

Point Break is a surfing/crime/bromance movie from Oscar nominated director Katherine Bigelow.

Bigelow, who made a thoughtful and well-researched movie in Zero Dark Thirty, turns out a silly, preposterous piece of eye candy with a ludicrous plot in Point Break.  The characters are poorly fleshed out, usually having only one definable trait,  and each is wholly uninteresting.  Keanu Reeves stars in a role that set him on the road of being panned repeatedly for not acting well.  He portrays Johnny Utah so blandly that Utah seems to be a robot that by the end of the movie has failed to develop emotions.  Reeves’s delivery of his lines is so leaden that babies and pregnant women should not be allowed to watch it.

The plot lurches along in fits and leaps.  Utah’s position as a new FBI agent is unbelievable, as in one scene he seems to care deeply about his job and then not a whit in the next.  This is not an actor portraying a conflicted man, as his inflection and emoting imply no change in perspective or even higher-level thought processes.  Rather, it is a poorly written script, which seems to ignore its own characters’ previous or long-standing motivations from previous scenes in order to set up the next scene.  “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” is a terrible way to write a script.

The movie seems to have been written for and/or by fifth grade boys.  It ignores all the hard work of making the viewer think about the characters and instead focuses on pretty scenery and sculpted bodies to mask that what is taking place in the film is utter bullshit.


 

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 |Chapter 16| Comments

 

 



 

Chapter 1: 00:01 – 5:02

The movie opens with a scene of men surfing interspersed with Johnny Utah going through a firearms course in the rain.  Utah fires a shotgun and a pistol and scores 100%.  Utah then is seen on his first day in the Los Angeles FBI’s Bank Robbery Department.  He is shown around the office by Agent Ben Harp, who discusses how the office works and generally gives Utah a hard time.

Analysis

The surfing clues you into the fact that, improbably, a movie about bank robberies is going to involve a lot of surfing.  We also see that Johnny Utah is an expert marksman with both a shotgun and a handgun from the staggering distance of about five yards.  Seriously, he could hit those targets by throwing rocks at them, he was so close.  I also wonder what the deal is with the target with the picture of the man holding a kid hostage.  Why is it moving so quickly from side to side?  Is that to simulate someone sprinting sideways with a hostage?  Has that ever happened?  Also, why would you be trained to shoot in the event of a man racing across your visual field with a hostage?  Why would someone have to test in such a downpour, while wearing tight blue jeans?  (That’s a guaranteed rash.)  It also makes it difficult to do the stupid, tactically idiotic rolls behind the mailbox.  Really, why roll and lose target sight picture and balance, when he could just shift to the other side.  It’s just a mail box.  I understand that placing a young and remarkably fit Keanu Reeves in a wet t-shirt is making good use of this actor, but the shooting course is a joke.

The scene at the FBI’s LA Field Office is straight out of Hollywood. Agent Harp is upset because his unit has been assigned more manpower.  And, it’s not just any manpower – it’s Johnny Utah, who graduated in the top 2% of his class, which means that the classes at Quantico must be enormous for the rankings to be done in percentages as opposed to ordinal rank.  The class size has to be fifty one at a minimum for the top 2% to be used.  Even if the graduating class was a hundred strong, you’d think he’d be considered second in his class, not the upper 2%.

Certainly, I’m no expert in the FBI culture, but I can’t imagine that on the first day, the senior agent calls the new guy “young, dumb, and full of cum” and “asshole.”  I’m pretty sure the FBI has some sort of HR to whom Utah, or anyone in earshot, could report Harp.

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Chapter 2: 5:03 – 9:38

At the FBI swimming pool, Agent Pappas is being told to dive into the pool blindfolded to retrieve bricks.  He complains about the test and the fact that he is teamed with a new agent from Quantico.  Utah is standing right in front of Pappas and hears him.  When Pappas realizes this, he introduces himself then jumps into the pool to grab the bricks.

The scene shifts to men loading firearms while riding in a car.  They don rubber masks in the likenesses of former presidents of the U.S.A. and run into a bank.  The men rob the bank, take money out of the registers, and leave within 90 seconds.

Pappas and Utah are next at the bank reviewing videotape of the robbery.  Pappas tells Utah that the ex-presidents have robbed 27 banks,  that they only take cash from the cash drawers, and that they always use stolen cars.  Pappas thinks they are the best robbers he has ever seen.  Two more agents show up and mock Pappas for his theory on the bank robbers.  Utah volunteers Pappas and himself to work the abandoned getaway car for clues.

 

Analysis

I agree with Pappas that the diving into the pool is stupid.  I’m not even sure why it’s in the movie. Is he in the bank robbery/life guard unit?  Also, why does the FBI have an Olympic-sized pool?  Why is Johnny Utah brought to the pool to meet Pappas?  Couldn’t he wait until Pappas was dressed?  How upset is Pappas about being paired with a new agent that he goes into a mini-tirade without prompting?  He’s about to do something he finds pointless and without merit and he quickly dispatches that thought in favor of complaining about having to train a new guy.  Pappas has been in the field for 22 years – this can’t be the first new agent he has mentored.

The bank robbery scene is fine, although that is a huge bank.  I’m surprised the ex-presidents chose it as it is full of people and with only four robbers they can’t keep track of everyone at once.  It’s also good to see that the law enforcement officials prefer to mock each other rather than to try to catch criminals who have robbed 27 banks.  Pappas thinks these are the best bank robbers he has ever seen, but they’re also pretty good car thieves since they have stolen at least 27 cars without being caught.

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Chapter 3: 9:39 – 13:19

Pappas and Utah go to the crime scene of the abandoned getaway car.  Utah takes a long time looking over the car, but finds nothing.  Pappas is upset about it, thinking the search is futile and that the robbers are impossible to catch.  Utah challenges Pappas about his age and giving up, making Pappas angry.  Pappas agrees to tell Utah his theory about the robbers – they are surfers.

Back at the field office, Pappas lays out his reasoning for suspecting the robbers are surfers – the tan lines on one of the robbers, a wax sample left behind at the scene, and the seasonal aspect of the robberies.  Utah concurs, and he and Pappas celebrate.

Analysis

I know the movie has to hurry to Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves shirtless, but couldn’t those in charge of the film spend a little time setting up the team work between Pappas and Utah?  Within five minutes of screen time, Pappas is upset over being paired with some rookie, then he stands idly by while Utah searches the getaway car, then Utah yells at him, then they’re celebrating in the office.  It’s preposterous.  It’s also horrendously acted.  The scene where Utah confronts Pappas looks spliced together.  It’s a combination of Reeves showing the extent of his emoting by raising his voice, and Busey from a movie where he is drunk (or maybe just the real life Busey).

Predictably, Pappas and Utah cycle through all the stereotypes for young guy/old guy arguments.  Old guy has given up, he’s burnt out, and he was in ‘Nam.  Young guy has a fresh take, all it takes to solve a case is vim, he’s snot-nosed.  Has an argument between two professionals ever involved one saying that he was killing Vietnamese in Khe Sanh, while the other was in diapers and thus the non-combatant has nothing valid to add?  Could a derelict walk off the street into a surgery and holler at the young doctor who never served his country, and decry his youth and lack of experience, then take over the surgery?

“Medical school? Outta my way girl, I was shooting the Viet Cong when you were still planning the dream wedding for your Barbies!”

Pappas’s theory about the robbers being surfers starts off well enough.  The tan-lines make some sense, but it’s pretty flimsy and laughable as well.  Tan lines? Ok, that’s a good catch, especially on a black and white picture, but not necessarily conclusive.  The FBI’s forensics are fantastic, however, as one of the robbers (Nixon) scuffed a counter during a robbery and the FBI found non-specific mud, traces of asphalt, traces of oil, traces of sand, and carnauba wax.  That is from just a scuff!  I find it odd that Utah goaded Pappas into revealing his theory, then makes fun of it as Pappas goes through it.  I also find it odd that Utah is drinking in the office while trying to figure out this crime.  Do they keep liquor in the office, or did they pick it up just to enhance their brain storming?  The best part is when Utah realizes that the bank robbers are following the waves, and Pappas agrees.  If that’s the case, then wouldn’t there be other bank robberies of the same ilk in other places, like Hawaii?  If the ex-Presidents are robbing banks in other places, why isn’t the LA Field Office working with other field offices and local jurisdictions?  Finally, why doesn’t Agent Harp know about this, seeing as he is nominally in charge?

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Chapter 4: 13:20 – 18:18

Utah and Pappas go to a surf shop and purchase a surfboard.  Pappas tells Utah he has to learn to surf to grow closer to the surfers because they are such a tight-knit group.  Utah is resistant to the idea.  Utah goes out into the ocean, attempts to surf, and almost drowns.  Utah is saved by a young woman who chastises him for trying to surf with poor equipment and a lack of skill.  Utah watches the woman change clothes and jump into her car.

Back at the office, Utah looks up the woman, Tyler Ann Endicott.  She has a lot of moving violations.  Pappas mocks Utah’s decision to use a woman as an “in”. Utah sees that Tyler’s parents were both killed in a plane crash and  he decides that that is the information he needs.

Analysis

How does Pappas get authorization to put his plan in place with Utah going undercover as a surfer?  Are we to believe the hysterically uptight Agent Harp signed off on this?  If the FBI needed someone to go undercover as a surfer, wouldn’t they choose someone who ALREADY KNEW HOW TO SURF?  Or, if somehow there was no one in the entire federal government, or LAPD, that knew how to surf, they could pay an informant.  No, instead they’ll send out a guy who’s from Ohio and have him try to learn to surf, and then bond with the surfers within one month.  I’m sure surfers, who are ostensibly following the large waves, are going to accept a new guy who doesn’t know shit about surfing.  It does give Keanu Reeves the opportunity to make fun of his previous character, Ted “Theodore” Logan, by saying he would “act like he was stoned all the time.”  Jokes on you though, Keanu, as your acting as Ted was way better than as Johnny Utah.

Then Utah, who doesn’t seem to have a strong will to live, runs out and tries to surf on 10 foot waves his first time! He does this without anyone watching him or supporting him.  Where is Pappas during this almost-drowning?  “Utah, you go out and learn to surf.  I’m going to tell stories about ‘Nam.”  Why is Tyler upset with Utah for almost drowning?  And, if she’s so upset why does she just leave him gasping for air on the beach?

What kind of computer system does the FBI have?  We see Utah looking into the California DMV to look up the car Tyler’s car.  It makes sense that the DMV would have Tyler’s license connected to her registration and that her traffic violations would be listed as well.  Where do they get the information about Tyler’s parents?  Is that in the DMV’s records?  That’s preposterous, but then again, any state or federal database of how people’s parents died is preposterous. That’s what police databases have – all the personal identifiers: full name, date of birth, social security number, parents cause of death.  Don’t let anyone know how your parents died; they could use it to steal your identity.

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Chapter 5: 18:18 – 24:04

Utah drives to the diner where Tyler works.  Utah asks Tyler to teach him to surf.  She rebuffs him, but Utah tells her that he did everything in his life to impress his parents.  He says his parents died in a car accident two years ago, and he decided to start doing things for himself, and he feels drawn to the ocean.  Tyler agrees to teach him.

The next morning, Tyler and Utah are on the beach.  Tyler has Utah work on his balance on the board while it’s still on dry land as people walk by and laugh.  A montage follows of Tyler and Utah surfing, with Utah improving.

As the sun goes down, Utah and Tyler stop for the day, and Utah sees a man surfing.  Tyler tells Utah that the man is Bodie, and he is searching for the ultimate ride.  She says Bodie is even crazier than Utah.

Analysis

I have no experience with surfing, so I can’t comment on the instruction scene.  It seems reasonable that within one day, a very coordinated person would be able to master mounting the board.  However, the scene where Utah convinces Tyler to teach him is poppycock.  Utah doesn’t even act like he’s surprised to see Tyler in the diner.  That would imply he knew she worked there, and that he went there specifically to see her.  This should alarm the hell out of her.  Sure, Utah is pretty hunky, but Tyler should be asking questions like “How did you find me?” or “Are you following me?”.

Utah then weaves a web of what-the-fuck that not even the stupidest person should accept.  For starters, Utah has no inflection in his voice.  Is this on purpose?  He seems disingenuous in EVERYTHING he’s doing in this film.  His delivery of the lines so leaden you could use it for Chinese children’s toys.  I can’t see Reeves’s eyes move as he reads the cue cards, but I think the awkward pauses are from when the grip holding them moves from one card to the next.  Reeves’s bad acting has been attacked repeatedly but here it makes Utah’s story for Tyler seem fake.  Add to the poor delivery that Utah tells Tyler he went to law school on a football scholarship.  A FOOTBALL SCHOLARSHIP TO LAW SCHOOL!!!!!!

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Chapter 6: 24:05 – 29:40

Bodie runs up, grabs Tyler, and kisses her.  Tyler tells Utah that she and Bodie know each other.  Bodie asks Tyler about Utah and seems jealous.  There are surfers throwing a football around on the beach, and Utah intercepts a pass thrown to Bodie.  Bodie is impressed.

Utah joins the surfers for a game of football on the beach.  After several touchdowns are scored, Utah chases down Bodie and tackles him in the ocean.  The surfers take umbrage with the tackle, but Bodie tells them not to worry about it because Utah is a former quarterback for Ohio State.  The surfers are impressed with Utah’s background and briefly talk about his college career.

Back in the field office, Agent Harp yells at Pappas and Utah for not having produced any leads or evidence in the past two weeks, while the ex-Presidents have robbed two more banks.  Utah shows Pappas lab results from the hair from one of the robbers.  There are contaminants in the hair that Utah suspects are from the water where robbers/surfers surf. Utah says surfers are territorial and “stick to certain breaks”. Utah thinks that, if they can get hair samples from the denizens of various beaches and compare them to the hair sample from the robbery, they will have an idea where the bank robber surfs. Pappas thinks Utah’s plan won’t work but agrees to do it anyway.

Analysis

Apparently, Bodie is the only football fan in the group of people playing football.  They don’t recognize a three-year starter at QB for one of the largest football programs in the country.  Also, Bodie decides not to tell them until Utah tackles Bodie into the water.  I don’t know why the other surfers are upset, given that there appeared to be no boundaries for the game.  Why was Bodie running into the water anyway?  Why are they playing football in tight jeans?  Constrictive denim is not conducive to running. Utah says he hurt his knee in the Rose Bowl and missed his window to go to the pros.  The reason for this?  He had surgery for two years.  Two years of surgery!  Was his knee hit so hard that he came down with tackle cancer?

I think the character of Harp is just there for comic relief at this point.  He agrees to let Utah go undercover and then explodes in a fit of rage at Utah and Pappas when they don’t have any news on the robbers.  You’d think at some point he would express his concern for the operation before he was moved to bellow at them.  “Ok guys, I’ll agree to your undercover operation.  Take two weeks, and then report to me and I’ll scream at you.”  Also, how is he still in a supervisory position?  I can’t imagine grown men would accept that sort of treatment for long.  There has to be an ombudsman around that office somewhere.

Then it turns out that Utah isn’t even going under cover.  He’s surfing on his own time, which means Harp was screaming at Utah for leisure activities.  That has to warrant a call to Human Resources.  Of course, if Utah and Pappas aren’t engaging in surfing during “office hours”, then why are they allowed to come to work wearing shorts and t-shirts, and to bring in a surf board?  I’m pretty sure the FBI has a dress code.  Also, what ARE they doing during work hours?

Immediately after being yelled at for having no information about the bank robbers, Utah lets Pappas, and only Pappas, in on new information about the bank robbers.  I guess Utah just likes being yelled at by Harp.  Or maybe they feel the best way to solve a crime is not to use the resources of your agency.  Anyway, according to Utah, beaches are shut down all the time because of waste spills.  Huh?  They’re always being shut down?  Really?  Maybe that’s what people in Ohio think of beaches, but it can’t be true.  Also, if any beach routinely suffered from waste spills, why would anyone, surfer or otherwise, visit?  Utah wants to gather hair samples of surfers who surf at certain locations.  Why not just test the water at those locations?  If you bother with the hair, then you run into the problem of the surfer washing his/her hair.  You know what information they could really gain from the hair – its color!  That would rule out a lot of people with different hair color as suspects.

Finally, Utah says that the surfers are territorial and they stay in the same breaks.  This is the exact opposite of the theory that Pappas posited according to which the surfers are moving and robbing banks to fund their itinerant way of life.  Which is it?

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Chapter 7: 29:41 – 37:43

Utah and Pappas go to the beach and take hair samples of beach goers.  The lab is able to match the trace elements in the hair to the ones from the robbers, and thus to the specific beach – Latigo Beach.  Utah surfs there and is punched by another surfer, who doesn’t like Utah butting into his area.  Utah laments the futility of the search, but Pappas, who is watching from his car with binoculars, tells him he will know the group when he sees them. They will be tight knit, and will be a “group within a group”.

Utah goes to shower on the beach, and Pappas loses sight of him.  Four surfers, including the one who punched him, surround Utah and threaten him.  A fight ensues, and Utah is being choked with a cord and punched.  Bodie intervenes, and the other surfers stop the attack.  Utah punches the man who previously punched him, and he and Bodie beat up the other surfers.  Pappas sees part of the fight and rushes to help.  He encounters Bodie and Utah walking away and acts as if he doesn’t know Utah.

Bodie tells Utah about the four surfers, saying they only do things that are radical.  Bodie tells Utah that riding the waves is about finding and losing yourself, and Bodie thinks Utah has it within him to achieve that state of mind while surfing.  Bodie invites Utah to his house and Utah accepts.

Analysis

I really hope that Pappas and Utah don’t plan on using the hair samples in court, as they couldn’t have been more illegally taken.  Pappas is particularly bold by flashing his badge while he takes the samples.  If the surfers are as close as they expect, then exposing his badge would label him as police, and then everyone would know who he was.  He just burned himself.   If the robbers are, in fact, surfers, then they will know the police are looking for something on the beach.  Utah is almost as bad, communicating with Pappas via walkie talkie.  I’m not the foremost expert on surfers, but I doubt they use Motorola walkie-talkies often.

Bodie does say that the goons who attack Utah are “wired wrong”, but do they really think they’ll get away with just beating some guy up on the beach?  It’s a four on one beat down on a crowded beach by the one place everyone goes – the showers.  They do this when there was a cop on the beach taking hair samples just a little while ago.  I’m surprised Bodie is the only one who steps in to help.  The four surfer attackers are not only punching and such, but one of them is trying to garrote Utah.  They’re trying to kill him in broad daylight!

“Hey those four crazy guys are murdering someone by the showers, shouldn’t we help?”

“Nah, that guy’s new.  This is our break.”

Luckily, Bodie shows up, and since he has taken an instant liking to Utah, invites him over to hang out.  I can only assume this entire scene took place on a weekend as Utah is supposed to be surfing on his own time, and it appears to be during business hours.

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 Chapter 8: 38:44 – 48:13

In the car, Pappas scolds Utah for going out of sight.  Utah shrugs off the criticism as he and Pappas follow the crazy surfers from the beach.  Utah runs the plates of the surfers’ car and gets the name of the owner.  He then runs a criminal background check on the owner and finds that he has several arrests and convictions.  Utah thinks that he and Pappas should report them to Harp as possible suspects for the robberies.  Pappas and Utah watch the house from their car until they are relieved by other agents.  Pappas tells Utah to get some sleep as they will have a warrant in the morning.

Utah goes to Bodie’s party with Tyler.  The house is full of revelers dancing and cavorting.  On the beach, Bodie and his group talk about surfing.  One of them, Roach, talks about riding a big wave, and Tyler says that’s for macho assholes.  Bodie disagrees, saying it’s the ultimate rush and that dying while doing something you love is good.  The groups discusses where the largest waves are and Bodie says the next year in Australia, there will be a “50 year storm” that will create the largest waves in the world and he will be there to surf them. Tyler leaves and Utah goes after her.

In a room in Bodie’s house, Tyler tells Utah that Bodie will take him to the edge or past it, that Bodie and his group are adrenaline junkies.  Bodie comes in and invites Utah out with his group to surf at night.  Utah is worried about how safe it is, saying he will die, but Bodie convinces him to try it.  Utah surfs, survives, and enjoys it.  Bodie and his group return to the beach leaving Utah and Tyler in the water.  Tyler comments on how Utah seems to have lost the driven, focused exterior and seems happier.  Utah says he can’t describe what he is feeling.  He kisses Tyler.

Analysis

When did Utah get into Pappas’ car?  Did he drive home, and then have Pappas pick him up and sit on the beach waiting for the surfers to leave?  Wouldn’t he try to keep cover by not being seen with Pappas? Pappas has totally taken a back seat to Utah at this point.  Pappas was continually talking about how careful the ex-Presidents are as bank robbers, but now Utah thinks that maybe the four guys who blatantly assaulted a man in broad daylight in public might be the robbers.  Sure, they have criminal records, but if these surfers are the robbers the FBI can’t catch, how did they get caught in the first place?   Also, how long have the ex-Presidents been robbing banks?  Didn’t any of the goon’s stints in jail correspond with robberies?  Why bother to check that, though, right?  If they want to be certain that these goons are the robbers, how about arresting them for the assault and attempted murder of one Johnny Utah?  Throw them in jail and with their long list of prior arrests, convince the judge to not give bail.  Once another bank is robbed while these guys are in prison, cross them off the list.

Or, they could expend manpower and overtime to watch the house at night.  I don’t know what that is supposed to do since the agents are just looking at the exterior of the house.  They are waiting for a warrant, so why bother with the surveillance?  Are they expecting the robbers to rob a house across the street?  If they aren’t arresting the men for the assault, then what kind of warrant are they expecting to receive?  They have no information that would allow a judge to permit the FBI to search the house or arrest the men.  Warrants require probable cause, and the FBI has nothing even approaching that.

What does Bodie do for a living that he has this huge house on the beach and can afford to throw these lavish parties?  What does he do for a living, Johnny?  This is a clue, kid.  We see that Johnny Utah has the adrenaline addiction just like Bodie.  This probably comes as a surprise to Utah, who didn’t figure this out while playing football in front of 100,000 screaming, cheering fans every weekend.  Surfing is so addicting to him now that he abandons his plan to investigate the other surfers he thinks have robbed 27 banks so that he can go to the beach at night, surf at what looks like dusk, then sit on Bodie’s surfboard at night and kiss Tyler.  On a side note, did Utah bring his wet suit to this party, or did he borrow one from Bodie?

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 Chapter 9: 48:13 – 57:19

The next morning, Utah wakes lying next to Tyler on the beach.  He realizes he is late and laughs with Tyler about it.  He kisses her several times before leaving.  Utah eventually makes it to the raid site, and Pappas puts him in a position where he won’t be seen and have his cover blown.  The agents move into position, looking into the house to observe the angry surfers that attacked Utah the previous day.  Utah looks into the window and sees that the surfers are bringing out rifles and calls to the other agents via radio to warn them.  There is a lawn mower near Utah, however, so they can’t make out what he is saying.  Pappas is at the front door talking to a woman in the house about a fictional lost dog.

The surfers are paranoid and begin to panic and look out the windows.  They see the two agents crouched by the side of the house.  Pappas tells the woman he is with the FBI and pushes his way into the house just before one of the surfers opens fire at him.  Utah hears the gunfire and enters the back door, shooting one of the surfers.  The rest of the agents enter the house and subdue another of the surfers.  Another surfer grabs the woman who answered the door and uses her as a hostage, but Pappas shoots him in the head.

Utah is in a shootout with the last surfer and takes cover in the bathroom.  A woman who was in the shower attacks him from behind.  The FBI agents shoot one surfer in the foot and then are attacked by the woman from the shower.  The man who was shooting at Utah runs out of the house, and Utah pursues.  Utah catches him in the yard of the next house, and they fight over a knife the surfer has.  After a tussle, the surfer is about to push Utah’s face into the neighbor’s lawn mower when Pappas shoots the lawn mower.  Pappas handcuffs the surfer.

Analysis

I assume we are to believe that Utah has become so enamored with Bodie and Tyler that he is able not to worry about making a raid and that he can just laugh when he realizes he is late.  Still, Utah eventually makes it to his raid.  I don’t know what kind of raid this is, in which they know there are at least four people in the house and they only have five agents.  I mean, they had two guys watching the house all night so they know who has come and gone, yet they are unprepared.  Where is the LA Field Office HRT team?  Maybe the Los Angeles office is too small to have such a special unit, seeing as it’s such a small, unimportant city.  Maybe the LA Field Office HRT team is conducting mandatory “pick up a brick from the swimming pool” training. Still, if they are going to raid the house, why not at least grab whoever was around the office in the bank robbery unit or request assistance from the LAPD?  Why are they applying a wire to Pappas?  They already have a warrant.  There is no need to clandestinely record the conversations that take place in the house. If they are going to raid the house, why bother with the ruse of Pappas looking for his dog?  Just barge in if you feel it’s a high risk, or just knock and present the warrant. As it turns out, they never even use the warrant!

If they want to maintain Utah’s cover, why bring him to the raid?

The shootout scene is fine, although it’s funny to watch agent Alvarez have trouble hearing Utah and take his walkie-talkie and place it over his ear, when that ear already has an earpiece to listen to the radio.  Alvarez even takes the drastic step of removing his ear piece, as if the sound being put directly into his ear is impairing his ability to hear it.  The agents don’t seem to have much coordination and that house appears to be huge, as the bad guys are shooting automatic weapons and shotguns in one part of the house and no one in the other parts of the house can hear it.  And where the hell is Agent Cullen?  He’s supposed to be backing up Pappas but he never appears.  Did he get scared?

Why doesn’t the neighbor do something while two men are knife-fighting in his front yard, with one attempting to jam the other’s face into his lawn mower?  The least he could do is turn off his lawnmower or move it out of the way.  Actually, why is he mowing his lawn while there is a shootout next door, complete with shotguns and automatic rifles?  A lawn mower has a decibel level of around 90 while a gunshot is around 140.  There’s no way the man wouldn’t hear an even louder report from a shotgun or rifle, unless he’s deaf.

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Chapter 10: 57:19 – 1:02:22

While the FBI cleans up in the aftermath, Pappas talks to Utah about it being the first time Utah has ever shot a real person.  One of the men who was handcuffed in the raid comes into the bathroom and confronts Utah and Pappas.  Agent Harp introduces the man as Agent Deetz from the DEA.  Deetz tells Utah and Pappas that he has been undercover with the surfers, who have been selling drugs.  He shows them two kilograms of uncut crystal meth.  Deetz has been trying to ingratiate himself to the surfers to find their suppliers.  Deetz has been keeping records of their movements and knows they didn’t rob the banks because they were in Florida at the time.

Later, Utah is lying in his bed with Tyler when Bodie comes over and invites them to surf.  Utah watches Bodie and his crew surf, and one of them pulls down his shorts to show his butt as he surfs.  This reminds Utah of the bank robbers, and he tells Tyler he has to leave.

Utah meets with Pappas that night and tells him that he tailed Bodie all day.  One of the things Bodie did was stop by a bank for 20 minutes with Roach.  Then Bodie and Roach boxed up their things and put them into public storage.  Utah convinces Pappas to act, and Pappas agrees to wait outside the bank the next day.

Analysis

What is the deal with Agent Harp?  He pushes through the warrant (search warrant or arrest warrant?), then doesn’t bother to show up for the serving of the warrant.  Then when it turns that out another agency is already watching the men, Harp lets an agent of that agency scream at his agents.  Does he agree with Deetz?  How could Utah and Pappas have known that the DEA had a deep cover agent in that group, seeing as he was in deep cover?  Also, how were Pappas and Utah supposed to know about the four men being in Florida?  They were in the car pulling surveillance all day.  Seeing as there was such limited manpower at the raid, maybe someone at the office could have investigated these guys and realized they were in Florida.  And since when did crystal meth come in powder form?

Utah has Tyler over at his home.  Talk about blowing his cover.  What does he tell her that he does for a living?  Where is he hiding his gun and badge while she’s over there?  He also tells Bodie where he lives so Bodie’s gang can show up and invite him to go surfing in the afternoon.  The FBI is really kind to Utah, allowing him to go surfing the day after he was involved in a shooting.  I guess the mandatory counseling can wait until he has caught some bitching waves.

Luckily, Utah is an expert at recognizing asses.  He sees a surfer’s ass from 40 yards away and realizes it’s the same ass that he saw on a grainy, black and white video tape.  Based on his ass recognition, he tails (intended) Bodie and sees that Bodie is leaving.  Wouldn’t Bodie have told him this, since they’re so close now?

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Chapter 11: 1:02:23 – 1:10:47

The following morning, Pappas and Utah are sitting outside the bank that Bodie was casing.  Pappas becomes hungry and sends Utah out to buy sandwiches.  As one might expect, while Utah is buying sandwiches, the robbers enter the bank.  Utah doesn’t see them arrive because he is dealing with the sandwich vendor, and Pappas misses it because he is reading the comics in the newspaper.  Pappas and Utah are wondering about a car parked in front of the bank when the robbers come running out.  Utah identifies himself as FBI, and shoots at the car.  One of the bank robbers stops the other from shooting at Utah.  Utah hits the fleeing car with several shots, breaking the rear window.  Pappas drives up to Utah, who enters Pappas’s car.  A car chase ensues with Pappas’s car eventually running into a guard booth, and the robbers’ car having its tires shredded.

When the car is ruined, Utah goes after the robbers on foot.  The robbers pull into a gas station and ditch their car, beating up a man to take his.  Before they drive off, one of the robbers uses a gas pump and lighter to create a flame thrower and burn the old car. This gives Utah and Pappas time to catch up to them.  Utah tackles the robber with the gas, and Pappas shoots at the robbers, blowing out the rear window of the new car.  The robber escapes Utah, Utah gives chase, and they run through a residential section of Los Angeles.  Finally, Utah jumps down into a spillway and injures his knee.

Utah has the robber in his sights – as the robber is climbing a fence, but doesn’t shoot.  Instead, he empties his magazine by firing shots into the air.

Analysis

Why bother watching the bank if they’re not even going to pay attention?  Pappas is maybe given a pass for not watching the bank while Utah is in the car.  After all, he’s the senior man and it was Utah’s idea in the first place.  But, when he sends Utah out for food, you’d think he could at least put down the funny papers for a few minutes.  Also, Utah said the robbers would either rob the bank “tomorrow or the day after”.  That would mean the bank must be open for two consecutive days, which would necessitate the first day being a weekday.  Since it’s a weekday, why aren’t Utah and Pappas at the office?  There must be some paperwork they have to do after the DEA mix-up and multiple shootings.  Does Agent Harp handle all of that for them, which gives him carte blanche to overreact to everything else?  Wouldn’t Utah need some mandatory counseling or have to turn in his weapons for a forensic analysis? Harp must care a little bit that two of his agents, one of whom was involved in a shooting, aren’t reporting for work.  I imagine he’s busily calling them at home.  Or, he knows about them watching the bank and has decided to let them do it on their own and not offer any assistance, allowing two agents to try to arrest four armed bank robbers without even notifying the local police.  Of course, Pappas and Utah expect the bank to be robbed that day, and yet they have no way to contact the authorities when it does happen.

So, this leads to the obvious lame car chase that ends up in a foot chase.  What is Bodie’s reason for torching the car at the gas station?  Holding a flame to a stream of gasoline is dangerous.  Unless there is some mechanism to prevent the combustion from tracking all the way back into the pump (as it must have at some point, judging by the explosion in the background), it’s going to set his whole arm on fire.  Just get in the new car, like everyone else, Bodie!  Pappas fires six rounds from point blank range into the rear of the newly stolen car.  The first blows out the rear window.  I guess he misses the next five times, as the windshield isn’t struck, neither are the seats nor the robbers.  He’s a terrible shot if he missed a car from five yards.   Or maybe he just loaded one real bullet and five blanks.  That is very poor preparation for someone expecting to confront armed robbers.

Either way, Utah, a three-year starting college football player at one of the best programs in the country, is unable to properly tackle a man not paying attention to him.  Further, he is unable to catch this man in a footrace.  This is understandable, as everyone knows college football players are slow.  Luckily, however, Utah has amazing tracking skills as he can follow Bodie’s path unerringly even though he loses sight of Bodie many times as Bodie runs through houses, backyards, and across streets and over fences.  Of course, Bodie helps by doing stupid things like waiting for Utah so he can throw a big dog at him.  Why would Utah catch the dog that was thrown at him?  If someone unexpectedly throws a large object at you, regardless of what it is, you dodge it.  No one ever catches it.

Finally, the chase ends when Utah’s old college injury flares up. He has been running through houses, over fences, through a glass door, down a ramp, and across all sorts of uneven ground but, when he drops down three feet in a controlled fall, he injures his knee so badly he can’t stand up. What was the point of two years of surgery?  He is pursuing a dangerous felon who has already robbed a bank with an automatic weapon, struck several pedestrians, endangered lives while engaged in a reckless driving escape attempt, and committed arson on a gas station, yet Utah can’t bring himself to shoot at him.  Utah has a clear shot with nothing in the background to damage should he miss the robber, but he doesn’t shoot, even though he fired an entire magazine into a moving car on a busy street mere minutes before.  To create an even more ludicrous juxtaposition of Utah’s use of force, he fires fifteen shots straight into the air.

Aside from being wasteful, this is extremely dangerous.  Those bullets are going to go somewhere.  Bullets fired into the air don’t go to bullet heaven. If you shoot them straight up, they’ll come straight down, and they should come raining into Utah’s torso at terminal velocity.  If they don’t go straight up, they’ll veer off at some angle striking something yards away – maybe one of the several houses and backyards through which he just ran.  That’s a fireable (intended) offense.  It is the single stupidest thing Utah could do outside of shooting himself in the head.

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Chapter 12: 1:10:48 – 1:23:48

Back at Headquarters, Pappas challenges Utah on why he didn’t shoot Bodie. Utah claims he missed, but Pappas thinks it’s because Utah is too close to the surfers.  Utah goes home, where Tyler washes his face.  Utah is about to tell her he is an FBI agent but ends up not doing so.

The robbers sit around a bonfire on the beach discussing what to do.  One wants to leave, since Utah is a federal agent and was so close to them.  Bodie convinces the others they didn’t only rob the banks for the money, but also to show society that the human spirit still lives.  Bodie says he knows what to do about Utah.

While Utah sleeps, Tyler fires a bullet into a pillow near him.  She throws his FBI credentials at him and yells at him for lying.  She asks if his parents actually died in a car crash (as did hers).  He confesses that they are still alive.  Tyler leaves but Utah can’t follow with his knee injured.  He calls and leaves messages, but she doesn’t call back.  Bodie and his crew show up at Utah’s house later and he dresses and goes with them.  Utah grabs his credentials, but leaves his gun behind as he can’t reach it before Bodie notices.

Bodie and his gang take Utah to an airfield where a plane is waiting.  They plan on going skydiving.  Utah expresses reticence but decides to go along with them.  Utah asks who packed his parachute, and Bodie says he did.  To make him feel better, Bodie offers to switch, then the others do as well, switching Utah’s chute several times.  The group jumps out of the plane and skydives, momentarily joining in mid-air before breaking up and pulling their chutes.  Utah seems to revel in the sensation.

Analysis

So Johnny Utah lied to the FBI about firing his weapon.  From what we hear in his exchange with Pappas, he told them he fired at the robber and missed (15 times!).  I’m sure that once the FBI or LAPD takes a look at the scene of the escape and finds bullets point down in the pavement, he’ll have to answer some hard questions.  The first of these questions should come from Harp about why Utah and Pappas didn’t show up for work and instead conducted an unauthorized stake out.

The scenes with Tyler and Utah are so awkward, they deserve mention.  Usually, I’m concerned about the plot, but Keanu Reeves’s acting is so bad in these scenes that it’s miraculous.  It makes you wonder if there is film of takes in which he was less believable.  He shows all the emotion of Chinese drywall.

Utah is also tremendously unprepared.  He knows that the robbers now know his identity.  He strongly suspects that the robbers are the surfers.  He knows that Bodie knows where he lives.  So, does he mention this to anyone or try to protect himself?  No, of course not.  He just goes home to Tyler, who finally finds Utah’s badge and gun.  I guess he kept them by the antiseptic, and she never saw them until she had to tend to his wounds, which had already been tended to by medical professionals.  She then discharges a weapon in his house, which is going to negatively affect his career and probably wake the neighbors.  Of all the things about which she should and could be concerned, she focuses on the fact that he told her his parents died.  She needs to work on her parental issues.

Also, Utah seems to live in a section of Los Angeles where the neighbors are not alarmed by gunshots in the night accompanied by screaming.  Utah is able to go back to sleep until Bodie and his guys show up.  I guess he had the police come by off camera, and he was able to explain to them that he is a federal agent – who was in a slight domestic dispute – then explain the incident to his supervisor who was called down by the LAPD to verify Utah’s story, then go back to sleep before Bodie arrived.

Once Bodie and his crew arrive (and again, how is Utah not more careful knowing that Bodie and his crew know who he really is now?), Utah still seems to try to impress them a bit.  He reaches for his gun clandestinely, but at that point why bother?  Just lunge for it.  The secret will be out once you point at Bodie and identify yourself as FBI!  Also, Utah knows that Bodie knows.  Why go on with the farce?  Not only does Utah know that Bodie knows, at that point, but Bodie knows that Utah knows he knows – and they still go sky diving together! Utah even goes skydiving after the bank robbers play three parachute monte. What is the conversation like on the way to the airport?

Bodie and his guys cleared out their house, which I assume they were renting, so where did they store all of their weapons, masks, money, clothes etc.?  Where did they get the parachutes?  Either they had that plane reserved in advance, or they chartered a plane at night.  Either way, they shouldn’t have a parachute for Utah.  It was good that Utah’s knee held up to skydiving when he could barely exit his bed hours earlier.

Finally, who is Bodie kidding when he says they rob banks to show that the human spirit lives?  Does he mean the spirit of greed?  Are they robbing the banks and giving the money back?  From what we see on screen, they are taking the money and using it in the spirit of having a good time surfing and skydiving.

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Chapter 13: 1:23:49 – 1:34:52

After skydiving, Bodie takes Utah back to a van near the airstrip and shows him a video of Tyler tied to a chair with one of Bodie’s men holding a knife to her throat.  Bodie tells Utah that the man (Rosie) holding the knife will kill Tyler unless Bodie meets Rosie at a particular location in six hours.  Utah agrees to help Bodie “get where he is going” so that Rosie won’t kill Tyler.

In the van, Bodie reveals to Utah that they are on the way to rob a bank.  Utah complains but relents  to save Tyler.  Utah enters the bank with the robbers, but he is the only one without a mask.  Bodie changes the plan and goes after the bank vault.  Bodie’s men rob the vault, but are concerned with the change in plans.  Utah talks to Bodie about changing the M.O. for the robberies.

There is an off duty police officer in the bank, who is armed.  He tells the bank security guard to back him up.  The officer shoots Bodie, and then Utah, as Utah tries to identify himself.  The security guard opens fire as well.  One of Bodie’s men shoots the officer, but the officer is able to shoot two more of Bodie’s team.  Bodie kills the officer while the officer is reloading, then checks on his own teammates.  One of them dies, and the rest depart.  Bodie pistol whips Utah before he leaves.

Analysis

Bodie appears to know the pilot, telling him to gas the plane up and have it ready at Santa Monica.  He does this right in front of Utah, who now knows the name of the pilot as well as the tail number of the plane Bodie is using to escape.  Good going, Bodie.

Why would Utah believe any of what Bodie is saying about Tyler?  Tyler and Bodie had a past relationship, so they could be in cahoots.  She obviously told Bodie where Utah lives so she’s only minimally trustworthy.  If Bodie is going to let Utah go, then he’s going to let Utah go with full knowledge and proof that he and his friends are the bank robbers, and he will add a count of kidnapping to the 30 bank robbery charges.  Utah has no incentive to cooperate with Bodie because Bodie can’t leave him alive.  Utah can’t figure this out, though.  Also, why did the movie makers decide to show the video of Tyler after the skydiving?  It’s as if they filmed the skydiving scene and realized there was no incentive for Utah to go along with Bodie and then wrote in the part about Tyler’s kidnapping, but forgot to put it in the proper order.

So, Utah robs a bank with Bodie and the crew.  Utah has plenty of chances to thwart the robbery (not running into the bank while the others do and calling for help being the obvious one), but he does nothing.  When the off duty police officer opens fire, Utah just shows the man his badge, as if that will help in any way.  He also is struck twice by rounds that incapacitate him but don’t seem to bother the other robbers who were shot with the rounds from the same gun, while they wore the same Kevlar vests.  I guess his knee injury, which has mysteriously healed, makes him more susceptible to bullets.  This would explain why he’s incapacitated by the shots he received and the other robbers are spry and active after being hit.  Utah can’t even muster the energy to bring his hands up to protect himself from Bodie’s pistol attack.

It’s a good touch that after there was a shootout in a crowded bank, with several people being shot, and two dying, the rest of the customers in the bank sat quietly and allowed Bodie to talk to his dying comrade and to allowed the bank robbers to walk out.  I guess that since these gentlemen had robbed 30 banks already, the people of Los Angeles are accustomed to being robbed and having people shot to death in front of them.

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Chapter 14: 1:34:53 – 1:41:29

Utah is being arrested as the FBI, the LAPD, Harp, and Pappas arrive at the bank.  Pappas tells the FBI agent reading Utah his rights to let Utah go, but is countermanded by Harp. Harp chastises Utah, and Pappas asks Harp if he will allow Pappas “to take him [Utah] in”, instead of Utah being transported in a police car.  Harp agrees, but insults Pappas.  Pappas punches Harp and knocks him out.  In the car, Utah tells Pappas he knows where the robbers are going: Santa Monica Airport.  He also tells Pappas they can’t arrest or shoot the robbers.

At the airport, Bodie and his remaining crew are checking their equipment and preparing to leave.  Utah drives up to Bodie and steps out of the car alone. He asks Bodie where Tyler is, but Bodie won’t tell him.  Pappas is watching from a hiding spot but Roach sees Pappas and shoots at him.  Pappas returns fire and shoot Roach and another robber.  He is about to shoot Bodie, but Utah steps in between.  Roach recovers his shotgun and shoots Pappas in the back, killing him.

Bodie helps Roach into the plane, and they threaten the pilot, who was hesitant to fly at first.  Bodie points his shotgun at Utah and tells him to get on the plane.  Utah boards the plane, and it takes off as police cars arrive.

Analysis

Why is Utah being arrested by the FBI so long after the robbery?  There are plenty of police in that bank – so you’d think someone would have arrested Utah by the time that Harp shows up.  Also, they’re handcuffing him while he’s receiving medical attention.  He should have been in cuffs long before then.  Once again, Harp comes in and puts being an asshole in front of his job (unless his job is just to be an asshole).  Rather than ask Utah some pertinent questions like “Where are they going?” or “Why did you do this?”, he just rants and raves.  Also, I can’t figure out why the other agent who is putting the handcuffs on Utah is so smug about it.  Wouldn’t he be a little shocked that one of his co-workers just helped rob a bank?  And why doesn’t someone arrest Pappas for punching FBI Supervisory Agent Harp?

Pappas wants very badly to catch the bank robbers.  It’s really all we’ve seen from his character.  Yet, when he has the chance to do so, he decides to try to take on three armed and desperate men with only an unarmed Johnny Utah and his six-shooter rather than call in help.  Also, why did Johnny Utah wait until Pappas showed up to tell someone about the bank robbers who were escaping?  As soon as Utah told Pappas where they were going, Pappas should have pulled over, contacted the FBI and the police and had them arrest everyone at the airport.  Instead, he prefers to go through with Utah’s stupid plan and get himself shot.

I know it’s a movie staple that being hit by a bullet isn’t that damaging, but these surfers/robbers can take a lot of punishment without being impaired.  Roach is shot in the shoulder and then uses that arm to fire a shotgun without any pain.  He is also able to help load the plane and threaten the pilot with a non-bleeding .38 caliber hole in his shoulder.

Speaking of the pilot, why did he stick around?  He is obviously not part of Bodie’s crew. People are being shot left and right, and he calmly refuses to fly them to San Pedro.  Once he sees the police coming, why not just shut down the engines and let the police catch these maniacs in the back?  He must know that he is now an accessory to bank robbery, kidnapping, and maybe murder.

Why is Utah going along with everything Bodie asks of him?  He and Bodie both must know that the jig is up.  The identities of the bank robbers are now known to the police.  They’ll never be able to set foot in the US again, unless they sneak across the border with fake IDs.  Does Utah think that Bodie is crazy and has no regard for human life, even his own?  If the police arrest Bodie and ask him where Tyler is and Bodie refuses to tell them, and Tyler dies as a result, then he is in for life in prison, on top of his bank robbery charge.  If Bodie is going to adhere enough to his word to save Tyler after his escape, then why would he let her die when he is no longer dealing with just Utah?  Johnny Utah is an idiot.  Also, how does Bodie’s “showing society that people still have spirit” line square with kidnapping an innocent woman, transporting her from the U.S.A. to Mexico, holding her hostage, and arranging for her cold-blooded murder?

Again, Keanu Reeves’s acting bears mention.  He is so leaden he could be Washington D.C. tap water.

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Chapter 15: 1:41:30 – 1:50:01

In the plane, Bodie is trying to reach Rosie on a radio, but he can’t.  He tells the pilot to try a higher altitude, but Roach is concerned they might be detected.  Bodie helps Roach into his skydiving gear.  Utah tells Roach he is dying from blood loss, but Bodie tells Roach to ignore Utah.  Bodie finally contacts Rosie and Utah pleads with him to cancel the order to kill Tyler.  Bodie looks at him and helps Roach with his parachute, then pushes the now unconscious Roach out of the plane.  Bodie then jumps out of the plane.

Utah punches the plane in a rage and then takes the gun that Bodie discarded and jumps out of the plane with no parachute.  Utah catches up to Bodie and grabs him in midair.  Utah tells Bodie to pull the chute, but Bodie tells Utah to do it.  Bodie taunts Utah, because Utah has to drop the gun to pull the chute.  Utah throws the gun away and pulls the chute at the last second.  Bodie and Utah land together and unravel themselves from the parachute.  Roach is shown lying dead on the ground.  Utah can’t prevent Bodie from escaping because of his knee.


Point Break (1991) – 3 – by Sebmagic

Bodie walks up to an approaching jeep.  Rosie is in it with Tyler.  They let Tyler go, and she runs up to Utah, hugging him, while Bodie and Rosie hug and drive off, after stopping to grab the money from Roach’s body.

Analysis

Utah just sits in the plane while Bodie and Roach make their escape.  He has several opportunities to take out Bodie but he sits there like a lump, because he needs Bodie to give the order to release Tyler.  They are flying over a deserted area of Mexico.  Where is Rosie going to let Tyler go?  Is the plan to let her walk around in the desert?  That is a death sentence in and of itself.  Or, are they going to let her wander around Mexico as a pretty, young white woman in a night gown?

These are facts that Utah can’t process as evidenced by his inaction as he just watches Bodie jump out of the plane after throwing Roach out.  Bodie clearly doesn’t care about Roach, by the way.  Roach is bleeding from a gunshot wound, there is no doctor waiting on the ground for him, and Bodie’s solution is to throw him out of a plane.  I’m sure that sudden jerk that accompanies the parachute opening will help to close the wound as opposed to ripping it open further.  Also, if Roach is unconscious, how does he pull his chute, and then guide it to the desired landing spot?  If he doesn’t pull his chute, why isn’t his body splattered across the desert?

Side note: the plane is flying and it has a side hatch open but it’s awfully calm and quiet in the cabin of that aircraft.  The wind should be whipping through and making it impossible to hear.

After standing by ineptly so that Bodie will release Tyler, Utah proceeds to do the worst possible thing he can do aside from shooting the pilot of the plane.  He jumps out of the plane without a parachute to catch Bodie.  He doesn’t grab the radio and try to contact Rosie as if he were Bodie. He doesn’t even try to talk the pilot into landing the plane.   He doesn’t put on his own parachute (there were extras since two of the robbers are now dead), and he didn’t even bother to try doing that before Bodie jumped.  He also waits ten seconds before jumping after Bodie.  Just look at how small Bodie is after four seconds of being in freefall.  Utah jumps out a full six seconds afterwards to try and catch him.

Let’s do a little math to show just how preposterous this is.  Terminal velocity is roughly 120mph in the skydiving position, and 200mph in the streamlined fast fall position.  That works out to 176 feet/sec and 293 feet/sec, respectively.  Bodie told the pilot to go to 4,000 feet, which would give them roughly 3,000 feet of freefall before having to pull the cord at minimum safe altitude of 1,000 feet.  The plane is also travelling linearly at over 100 mph (150 feet/sec) to maintain lift and prevent stalling out.  To calculate distance with constant acceleration you take:

1/2 the acceleration of gravity (32 feet/second squared) * the time squared   (Note: It takes roughly 15 seconds to reach terminal velocity, so the acceleration would be roughly constant for the time discussed)

In this case, Bodie has travelled 1600 feet by the time Utah goes after him.  Utah has also travelled some distance linearly (hard to calculate because the wind resistance is unknown) and Utah lost sight of Bodie for six seconds.  He is essentially jumping out of the plane with no idea where in three dimensional space Bodie is.  He has to pick a direction at random.  To complicate his ability to find Bodie, Utah isn’t even wearing goggles so he won’t be able to see very well.

To calculate the time it will take for Bodie to travel the 3,000 feet, you take:

The square root of twice the distance (3000ft)/the acceleration of gravity (32 feet/sec squared) which gives you 13.7 seconds. 

Bodie will reach 1,000 feet in 13.7 seconds, ten of which Utah has wasted by punching the plane in angst.  That leaves Utah 3.7 seconds to locate a tiny, humanoid form somewhere below him in space, against the background of the shadowy Mexican desert, and then to catch up with him.   In 3.7 seconds, Utah will have travelled around 220 feet.  For Utah to catch up to Bodie, he would have to be accelerating at a mind boggling 438 feet/second squared.  That’s 44 times the acceleration of a regular object on Earth!  He also would be travelling at 1,621 feet/second which would be 1,105 mph – or Mach 1.45! All this with no goggles!

Impossibly, and I mean that literally, Utah manages to find and catch up to Bodie.  He is in free fall for 49 seconds before he ends up on Bodie’s back.  Bodie and Utah have their little talk during freefall, and that lasts for about 48 seconds. Both timeframes would have had them bounce rather mortally off the Mexican desert by the time they were only partly finished.  In total, that is 97 seconds of freefall from 3,000 feet.  That would put their acceleration at .637687 feet/second, which is 1/50 that of Earth’s gravity.  At that rate of acceleration they’d only be travelling 42 mph and could conceivably survive without parachutes!

(This skydiving bit was busted on Mythbusters Episode 94)

Utah threatens to kill Bodie but that threat clearly has no teeth.  He could have attacked or killed Bodie plenty of times while in the plane yet did nothing – so why would he kill Bodie now?  Bodie still hasn’t given the order to release Tyler.  Utah is a dolt.  He also could have put the gun in his waistband or under Bodie’s shirt as opposed to throwing it away,

What is the deal with Utah’s knee?  He can’t walk one minute, then he can, then he can’t.  How did he make it through the FBI’s medical screening?

Finally, why is Rosie so excited and happy when Bodie lands?  Everyone is dead except for him and Bodie! I thought these guys were supposed to be a tight knit group.

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Chapter 16 :1:50:02 – End

A haggard looking Johnny Utah is driving a jeep in Australia.  It is raining and the radio talks about a huge storm.  Utah walks past surfers who are walking from the beach.  One of them says no one has been out on the water – it would be certain death.  Utah sees Bodie standing on the beach and throws the Ronald Reagan mask at his feet.  Utah explains how he found the body of Rosie in Mexico after checking “every town” and then tracked Bodie’s passport “through Fiji and Sumatra”.  Utah tells Bodie that Bodie has to go back with him, but Bodie refuses.

Utah and Bodie get into a fight on the beach.  Bodie gets the better of Utah, having him on his back with his head under the water, but Utah puts a set of handcuffs on his and Bodie’s wrists, locking them together.  A helicopter flies up, and Utah tells Bodie that he informed “them” that Bodie would come quietly.  Bodie begs Utah to let him ride the giant waves once before being arrested, and Utah releases the handcuff to let Bodie go.  The Australian police run up to ask why Utah let Bodie go.  Utah says he didn’t.  The police say they will catch Bodie when he comes back to the beach.  Utah walks off and says that Bodie won’t come back.  As Utah walks away, throws his FBI badge into the ocean.

Analysis

How did Utah make it back to the U.S.A.?  How’d he survive on his bad knee out in the desert?

More importantly, how the fuck is Johnny Utah still employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation?  How is he not in prison for that matter?  He aided and abetted a bank robbery that resulted in the deaths of three people.  He then withheld information that could have lead capture of the remaining robbers, which resulted in the death of his partner.  The FBI should have fired him, and then rehired him a few times just so they could fire him again and again.

Utah says he checked “every town in Mexico”.  I’d like to know how he managed that.  First, Mexico is a big country with a lot, and I mean mucho, towns.  Second, he has no, and I mean ningun, cero, nada jurisdiction in Mexico.  If Bodie is using his own passport (how stupid!) then why not have the Indonesian or Fijian authorities arrest him as soon as he tries to enter their country using a flagged passport? I’m sure the FBI is pulling out all the stops to arrest Bodie after he helped to kill one of their agents.  In case you’re wondering, the U.S.A. does not have an extradition treaty with Indonesia, but it does with Fiji.

How does Utah convince the Australian police that he’s going to arrest a man in their territory?  Again, Utah has no authority or jurisdiction, mate.  What he is essentially doing is kidnapping Bodie because he has no arrest power in Australia.  The Australian police would have to make the arrest, and then extradite Bodie to the US, where US Marshalls would take custody (or probably take custody of Bodie at the airport in Australia).  Utah says he convinced the Australian police that Bodie would come quietly and yet they show up with a helicopter, ten guys, and submachine guns.  Is that their idea of quietly?  Why didn’t someone just drive Utah to the beach instead of wasting the helicopter fuel?  And why would they let Utah approach Bodie on his own?  Just send the ten guys out to the beach at the same time as Utah.

I know that Aussies are a different breed than we Yanks, but would they really watch two guys just beat the hell out of each other on the beach without intervening?  There is a big crowd watching as Bodie appears to be drowning a man on the beach.  No one helps?

Utah lets Bodie go?  He fucking lets him go?  What was the point of all that effort if he’s just going to let Bodie go surf to death?  Bodie did nothing to help Utah during their time together in the USA.  Hey Johnny, remember how Bodie shot a police officer, and robbed banks, got your partner killed, and kidnapped your girlfriend and threatened to kill her?  You don’t owe Bodie shit.  You’d think Utah would remember that, and would prefer to arrest Bodie and throw him into a prison cell to make him as miserable as possible.  Nope, Utah lets him die an extremely uncertain death in the ocean.

Why do the Australian police just let Utah walk away?  They should have a lot of questions for him.  “Sorry, mate, why’d you let him go after we pulled out our helicopter and all these guys to help you arrest him? Let’s go back to the station and talk about this.”

Why does Utah throw away his badge?  This makes no sense.  NONE!  He spends all that time chasing Bodie down, finally catches him, and then lets him go and throws his badge away?  He’s going to have to pay for that.  What is his career plan now?  His knee won’t let him play football; his law career and law enforcement careers are shot.  Is he planning on robbing banks to fund his surfing habit?  How is Tyler going to feel when he comes back to the U.S.A. and tells her he has no job and no job prospects?  I know this is supposed to be “cool” but it’s just incredibly, unconscionably, stupid – just like the rest of the movie.

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