A modest box-office hit when it was released 20 years ago, the extreme sports/heist/action flick "Point Break" has become one of the most beloved cult-action movies of all time. Its premise, in which Keanu Reeves' undercover cop Johnny Utah infiltrates the "ex-presidents" -- a gang of thrill-seeking Los Angeles surfers led by Patrick Swayze's Bodi, who don rubber masks while robbing banks -- set the tone for such modern action hits as "The Town" and "The Fast and the Furious."
Although movie buffs have championed the merits of the edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline-pumping flick for years, the cult classic gained further steam with the production of "Point Break LIVE!" -- a "reality play" that allows an unrehearsed audience member to join the cast to tackle Reeves' role of Utah, reading cue cards from the stage.
With new life infused into what was thought to be a dormant franchise, Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment confirmed this week that a "Point Break" remake is now in the works, news that caused surprise and outrage as it tore across the Internet. But before we start wondering who could possibly replace Swayze's Bodi (Josh Holloway?), or which young actor has the chops to match Reeves Utah (anyone?), let's see where the people who brought us the early '90s classic are today.
Although pancreatic cancer ended his life at age 57, Patrick Swayze appeared in some of the biggest hits and best-loved movies of the past two decades, including "Dirty Dancing," "Ghost," and "Road House." In 1991, the year that "Point Break" was released, Swayze was named "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine. After "Point Break," Swayze's career lost some steam -- his next memorable role was as a cross-dressing pageant contestant in "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar." In 1998, he suffered major injuries after falling from a horse while filming HBO's "Letters From a Killer." Afterwards, he had difficulty getting his career back on track, but he did appear in the now cult-classic "Donnie Darko" in 2001, and later attempted a small-screen career with A&E's FBI drama "The Beast." In January 2008, Swayze told ABC News' Barbara Walters that although he was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, he was "kicking it." He died in December of 2009.
Keanu Reeves was 27 when he starred as conflicted cop Johnny Utah, and the young actor had already had breakout teen roles in a broad comedy ("Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure") and a taut thriller ("River's Edge"). He'd even tried his hand at period drama opposite some acting heavyweights ("Dangerous Liaisons"). But it was "Point Break" that truly thrust Reeves into the role of action hero that would define his career. Although he weaved in big-budget dramas such as "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and indie flicks such as "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" into his filmography, it's the mindless action of "Speed" and open-mouthed "whoa" of "The Matrix" for which Reeves will truly be remembered -- unless his legacy as an Internet meme ultimately wins out. Look for him next as an 18th-century samurai in "47 Ronin," due next year.
Ever wonder, "Whatever happened to Lori Petty?" A delightful sprite who brought her charm and megawatt smile to so many roles in the 1990s, she seemed to fall off the radar by the time the decade ended. Her role as Tyler Endicott, Johnny Utah's surfin' love interest in "Point Break," was her breakout film role, and she followed it with her scene-stealing performance as Kit Keller in Penny Marshall's adored women's baseball hit "A League of Their Own." After playing the title role in another cult classic, the comic book adaptation "Tank Girl," Petty moved to television, where she found little success on short-lived series "Lush Life" and "Brimstone." In 2008, she made her directorial debut with the autobiographical "The Poker House."
As Angelo Pappas, Johnny Utah's trusty partner, Gary Busey brought his zany bleach-blonde, California-casual presence to a supporting role that otherwise might have gone unnoticed. Although "Point Break" might seem like a footnote to his lengthy Hollywood career, Pappas might have left in indelible mark on a generation that has thoroughly embraced Busey's persona. He consistently finds work but might today be best known for portraying himself on several hit TV shows -- his last major gig was the short-lived 2003 Comedy Central reality-TV series "I'm With Busey," in which young writer Adam de la Pena meets and hangs out with Busey, his childhood idol. After the series, Busey did cameos on several episodes of HBO's "Entourage," "The Simpsons" and "Scrubs."
Not only did the beautiful ex-wife of James Cameron bring us "Point Break," she went on to become the first woman to win best director at the Academy Awards with her 2008 Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker." Before that, Bigelow held her own in the man's world of Hollywood action-movie directing, helming smart, stylish films such as "Strange Days" and "K-19: The Widowmaker." She has since begun a new film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, which has courted controversy for how much access to confidential information she was granted.
|John C. McGinley|
As FBI Director Ben Harp, John C. McGinley played a caustic, tough-as-nails boss who was always riding Reeves' Johnny Utah, calling him names and generally making his job a living hell. The producers of the hit TV series "Scrubs" must have been "Point Break " fans, because in 2001 they cast McGinley as Dr. Perry Cox, the ranting, angry chief of medicine who is constantly deriding his underlings. McGinley starred on the show for nine seasons, after which he landed supporting roles in several Hollywood films and a voice role in the film adaptation of the comic book "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies."