“Point Break Live” is one of those ideas where you just have to smack your hand up against your forehead create a smacking sound heard halfway down the street. It is so completely brilliant in its theoretical foundation that even if it were to fall halfway apart during the execution, it would hardly matter.
The career of Keanu Reeves has been extended beyond all reasonable expectation. Who would ever in a million years have guessed that the kid blown totally off the screen by Crispin Glover in “River’s Edge” would still not only be acting today, but starring in big budget movies. That career which has seen Keanu Reeves deliver quite possibly the most embarrassing performance in a movie directed by the guy who directed Sofia Coppola in “The Godfather, Part III” once ran through an unexpectedly ridiculous film called “Point Break.” Such is the legacy of “Point Break” that it stands second only to “Roadhouse” as a legendary point of consideration for badness in filmmaking among fans of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
“Point Break Live” is one of those increasingly less rare instances in which a movie you would never expect to become a stage production becomes that very thing. The genius of “Point Break Live” and the breaking point of anyone who has ever come up against spark of creative genius positively sublime is that the role originated by Keanu Reeves is the only part in the performance not assayed by an experienced actor. Because, you see, the role originally played by Keanu Reeves is handed over to one lucky person sitting in the audience.
Those who wish to play the part of Johnny Utah (and isn’t that a great name!) must submit to an audition process of sorts in order to determine who is best suited to slip on the mantel of Keanu. Once the faux-Reeves has been determined, what you see is an example of how sometimes an original concept is beyond parody. Keep in mind that the movie “Point Break” was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The same Kathryn Bigelow who inexplicably became the first–and so far only–woman to ever win an Oscar for Best Director. If you watched “The Hurt Locker” or “Zero Dark Thirty” and wondered how this could be–and I’m with you, baby–then when you watch the film “Point Break” on which the stage experience known as “Point Break Live” is based, your expression of wonder will be all the greater.
That audience member chosen from the audition process prior to the performance of “Point Break Live” is expected to read his part from cue cards; completely unprepared and, when things go perfectly, not associated with any acting experience whatever. Imagine! What genius came up with this idea? Recreating the uniquely untalented Keanu Reeves by handing the lead role over to a guy whose performance is based on how well he can read the cue cards. Let’s face it: the guy taking on the Reeves character in “Point Break Live” is going to worry far more about just seeing the cards and getting the words right than he is about digging deep into his soul for just the right emotional tenor. What you see is the movie “Point Break” come to hysterically funnier life in an over the top production that has become so infamous on the Left Coast that San Francisco even celebrated a Point Break Live Day!
Heck, you could hire a thousand actors and pay them to try to accomplish what Keanu Reeves does on screen and never once come close to how easily the same thing can be accomplished by randomly choosing some guy sitting in a seat.
Ideas like “Point Break Live” come along once, maybe twice, in a lifetime. If you get the chance to see it action, you should definitely not miss out.