A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.
Nicolas Winding Refn
Kristin Scott Thomas,
It's 1949 Los Angeles, the city is run by gangsters and a malicious mobster, Mickey Cohen. Determined to end the corruption, John O'Mara assembles a team of cops, ready to take down the ruthless leader and restore peace to the city.
A mysterious and mythical motorcycle racer, Luke, (Ryan Gosling) drives out of a traveling carnival globe of death and whizzes through the backstreets of Schenectady, New York, desperately trying to connect with a former lover, Romina, (Eva Mendes) who recently and secretly gave birth to the stunt rider's son. In an attempt to provide for his new family, Luke quits the carnival life and commits a series of bank robberies aided by his superior riding ability. The stakes rise as Luke is put on a collision course with an ambitious police officer, Avery Cross, (Bradley Cooper) looking to quickly move up the ranks in a police department riddled with corruption. The sweeping drama unfolds over fifteen years as the sins of the past haunt the present days lives of two high school boys wrestling with the legacy they've inherited. The only refuge is found in the place beyond the pines. Written by
A story of trashy criminals and dirty cops evolving into one about fathers and sons and life
What he have here is a story about fathers and their sons. In fact, three separate stories - each one leads into the next. A lesser movie would have just told one story, but "The Place Beyond the Pines" is larger in scope and needs all three parts to tell the complete story. A life is not just about your life but those you affect and those you leave behind for years to come.
The first father is Luke (Ryan Gosling) who didn't know he had a son until a girl whose name he happens to remember shows up with a one year- old son. Prior to that moment he was a daredevil with no ambitions, no money, and no care for his life. Now he's a father. A father with no money nor job. Wearing a dirty, inside-out, torn t-shirt and tattoos covering his arms, neck and face, he is the epitome of trash. But you know, the quiet, reserved, soulful, good-looking trash. And now that he's a father, he's going to care for his son however he can. He hooks up with his partner in crime, literally - Robin (Ben Mendelsohn). Together they are like a Hall & Oates version of Bonnie and Clyde.
In Schenectady, New York - the place beyond the pines - the only thing dirtier than the trashy criminals are the cops themselves. And then the second father is introduced. The character of Avery (Bradley Cooper) is carefully crafted into what should be the greatest human being on planet Earth. And he's a cop. And he's a father. And he's a son to a father who might have been but probably wasn't the greatest human being on planet Earth.
The film went for editing and filming styles to echo the characters' situations and actions. You can guess what that would look like when Gosling is racing through the forest on his motorcycle. But as we approach the more expansive ending, there are some beautiful shots of the trees lining Schenectady's countryside roads. That works particularly well with Cooper giving a remarkable performance of Avery constantly coming to grips with his life.
The final act tells a story very different from, but completely connected to, the two that came before it. It could have been tightened up a bit, but "The Place Beyond the Pines" isn't telling a quick story. It's telling the story of multiple lives, of death, family, love, honour and obedience. Employing overall themes of revenge, ambition, and what it means to be a father, and a son. I say it succeeds in its larger scope, even if it doesn't just tell a story the way one would want it to.
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