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Rated R · 122 minutes · 1991
Keanu Reeves plays an FBI recruit sent to southern California to assist an older agent (Gary Busey) investigating a series of well-coordinated bank robberies carried out by a quartet of young men wearing masks representing former presidents Reagan, Nixon, Carter, and Johnson. After discovering that the criminals are surfers, Reeves infiltrates a surfer-skydiving group that includes Patrick Swayze and Lori Petty and finds himself getting involved in their lives and lifestyle beyond his professional duties. Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark, Blue Steel) directed this 1991 actioner and manages to bring an impressive amount of visual splendor to the proceedings, including two first-rate chase sequences (one by car, another on foot), spectacular surfing and skydiving footage (cinematography in 'Scope by Donald Peterman), and some taut editing in the robberies. But once the characters open their mouths, we might as well be watching a blissed-out Bill and Ted caper—the “awesomeness” of the New Age philosophizing gets much too thick and screenwriters W. Peter Iliff and Rick King haven't succeeded in creating characters substantial enough to justify the pontifications.

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