I can't make up my mind about this movie. There's something to like about it yet at the same time it doesn't succeed entirely.
The story is not a bad one. A woman who is involved with members of two rival biker gangs ends up killed by one of these gangs. She leaves a box for her young son. The box requires two keys for it two open. All this takes place in flashbacks.
Fast forward to now, where a young biker has been "promoted". The gang, the Victors, includes The Gent played by Madsen, and the "prez" of the gang Pistolero. Oddly, the Gent is really the extraordinary shot. They are at in perennial war with the 666ers, the main guy there is played by Jones. A mysterious characters played by Hopper is some type of intermediary between these two gangs.
But the main character is Pistolero, who supposed to be the baddest of them all. He's played by Bishop who is also the writer, director, and executive producer.
The women of Pistolero also are significant, in particularly one played by Leonor Varela, who convinced Bishop that she could be sexier if she didn't have to be naked. And she was probably right. She is absolutely hot and puts on one hell of a seductive performance, and frankly, steals the show.
There is some violence, some nudity, some smart but banal dialogue, in the vein of Tarantino, but more intelligent.
The problem is that the main part playing in the present is dull. All the action is in the past portrayed in flashbacks, the brutal killings, the key plot parts, etc. Now, in the present, these guys just stumble into places, beat each other up or shoot someone. And Pistolero stands there sounding tough and delivering some half-witted remarks, telling people to meet in Tucson over and over again. The main problem is Bishop, who makes for the goofiest, phoniest biker guy I've ever seen. You don't buy for a second that this guy is the meanest motha' around- as he says of himself. He just does not look the part, although he has a good distinct voice. Far more interesting are Madsen's and Hopper's characters, both who have rather thankless roles. The young new biker is also miscast. And the entire rivalry between the gangs is not given enough attention.
This is all supposed the take part in the desert of New Mexico/Arizona, but as always, was filmed on the other side of the Hollywood Hills, and that just does not have enough of a desert atmosphere.
This is the kind of movie that you want to like, it's got some cool characters like The Gent, pretty girls, it's about violent outlaw bikers...but in the end it disappoints by focusing an the least believable of the characters and by pushing the most interesting parts of the story into flashbacks. The music is also annoying, loud, since it's supposed to be another character in the movie.
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