In Point Break, after Johnny Utah had Bodhi in his sights after their foot chase, he fires several rounds into the air while yelling in frustration at 0:50:

Utah is frustrated because he has become too close to Bodhi and could not bring himself to shoot him.

I understand his frustration. However, he is an FBI agent firing rounds into the air. Wouldn't special agent Utah need to account for every shot fired out of his gun in his report? At the beginning of the film, we see Utah in training at the academy and we are shown what an excellent marksman he is. Was he simply firing all of those rounds into the air to cover for the fact that he let Bodhi go or was he firing these rounds out of pure frustration?

1 Answer 1


It seems pretty clear that he could have shot him (although it would have been outside of the FBI's Deadly Force Policy)

FBI special agents may use deadly force only when necessary—when the agent has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the agent or another person. If feasible, a verbal warning to submit to the authority of the special agent is given prior to the use of deadly force.

Shooting someone to prevent them escaping is not permitted.

Firing shots into the air is also against policy (as it's wasteful, pointless and potentially dangerous*) but it seems clear that this act is driven entirely by frustration.

*When a bullet is fired into the air, it can stay in flight for over a minute. On the way down, it gains a velocity of between 300 and 700 feet per second—that’s more than powerful enough to kill a human. Skulls can be penetrated at a velocity of 200 feet per second.

On July 4, 1999, 9-year-old Brian Perez was hit in the head by a stray bullet. He died of his injuries the next day. At the time of Perez’s death, he was the 39th person to be killed by a stray bullet on a holiday in L.A.

Source - Newsweek

The "AAAAARGH....DAMN" outburst/scream seems to support the contention that this is driven by frustration...but the script confirms it

UTAH suddenly snaps his hand up and FIRES VERTICALLY.



Slumping back, his shoulders slam down onto the concrete.

Straight-arming the Beretta he FIRES RAPIDLY...

Bulleting the blue sky.

  • 1
    And then U2 came in and stole it. :oD Feb 17, 2017 at 15:49
  • Would the downvoter care to comment?
    – Paulie_D
    Feb 17, 2017 at 21:05
  • Looking at the video clip it doesn't look like a Beretta to me. (Not a comment on the answer, just curious.)
    – zeta-band
    Feb 17, 2017 at 23:36
  • Don't worry about the downvote. I got one on my question as well. I guess someone really doesn't like this topic for some reason ;) Feb 25, 2017 at 7:27

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