Breaking point was a Keanu Reeves classic. It inspired a stage show, a remake, and even talk of a sequel at some point. Fans of the film may have always wondered about the end of Breaking point, which looks like a reshoot. Screenwriter W. Peter Iliff confirmed that was the case and explained why the original ending was changed.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the end of Point Break.]
Iliff was the guest of the Separate script podcast on November 16, 2021. He explained his original ending to Breaking point and why it required a cover with Reeves and Patrick Swayze.
‘Point Break’ always ended with the 50-year-old storm
The end of Breaking point has always been that Johnny Utah (Reeves) let Bodhi (Swayze) ride the 50-year storm. Iliff’s point was that Utah let Bodhi die according to samurai code, with honor. However, the first ending with just the wave wasn’t enough.
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“They shot it and Larry Gordon, it was his first movie at his new company Largo and said, ‘I need a fight,'” Iliff said on Separate scenario. “And we’re as well, it’s this thing with honor. Why are they going to fight? “No, you have to fight.” I think [director] Katherine [Bigelow] returned to that scene months later and it was a fabulous fight. I dig the fight. I didn’t think they could do so well and reach the point of honor in the suicide wave.
Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze look different at the end of ‘Point Break’
What reveals the reshoot the most is how different Reeves and Swayze are. However, they did not change the ending of the story. They only added one fight before Bodhi begged Utah to let him surf.
“The coolest thing was that Keanu was gone Bill and Ted [Bogus Journey] so he had grown his hair long,” Iliff said. “Swayze had gone to do city of joy, a film by Roland Joffe where he plays a doctor and cuts his hair short. So they come back, they have now reversed the hairstyles. It’s a wonderful film accident.
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Although the Breaking point reshoot may seem blatant to some viewers, Iliff thought it actually worked thematically.
“It shows that Keanu has been looking for him long enough for his hair to grow, and also that Keanu’s character has changed,” Iliff said. “He walked away from the bureaucracy and protocol restrictions of the FBI. He now embodies many of the spiritual principles he learned from Bodhi. It makes sense that he lets his enemy die out of honor. Then they hired someone for $50,000 to deal with that drop in that wave.
W. Peter Iliff must have both ways
In the end, Iliff sticks to the reshoot. He got to keep his ending on the samurai code, and the movie got another great action scene.
“The fight got really cool and I’m glad it didn’t really destroy the deeper themes that were at play because it was a cool fight, especially the handcuffs,” Iliff said. “Just watching Swayze fight is the coolest thing ever.”
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