Cinema: Board Stiff

Board Stiff

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Pretty but dumb -- the old refrain of a guy beguiled by a woman's good looks, then crushed by her dullness. In these enlightened days, such japes are saved for Dan Quayle. But they could apply as well to a movie like POINT BREAK. No picture could be handsomer. The camera moves with bold, often devious assurance; action sequences are as sleekly muscled as the torsos of the film's jock hero (Keanu Reeves) and surfer villain (Patrick Swayze). Director Kathryn Bigelow has few peers at this aerobic cinema, as she proved a few years back with the weird, beautiful Near Dark. Here, though, limning the attempts of FBI agent Reeves to infiltrate Swayze's beach-bum bank gang, Bigelow often forsakes her wits. Naked babe nukes G-men. Hero weakly abets heist. Director defers climax for a little documentary on skydiving. So how do you rate a stunningly made film whose plot buys so blithely into macho mysticism that it threatens to turn into an endless bummer? Looks 10, Brains 3.-- R.C.