Last night, my girlfriend and I decided to skip the crowd frenzy that was happening for The Great Gatsby and instead watched The Place Beyond the Pines. The trailer caught my eye because with the pairing of two of the most well known actors right now: Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. Throw in Ray Liotta (Henry Hill from Goodfellas) and Eva Mendez, and you find yourself with a pretty well-rounded cast.
From what the trailer showed me, the bleach-blonde, tatted up Gosling was a bank robber on a dirt bike. This sat well with me since automotive vehicles seem to make Ryan shine as an actor in the past with the movie Drive. Bradley Cooper ditched his drunken adventures with the Wolfpack, sobered up, and is a good cop trying to catch this X-Games bandit. My expectations of seeing a motorcycle version of Fast and the Furious mixed in with Die Hard turned out to be something a lot more different.
Gosling plays Luke Blanton, a carney that rides his motorcycle around in the ball of death. Romina (Mendez) shows up to spark a former flame the two had. Blanton soon finds out that Romina had his baby a few months ago without his knowing. Unfortunately, she wants nothing to do with him as there is a new man in her life caring for the child. Wanting to be part of his baby’s life, he decides he will do anything to support him.
Blanton teams up with car mechanics and new friend Robin. With his past experience robbing banks, Robin helps Blanton use his expertise of riding bikes to devise the perfect plan to hold up banks. On one robbery, Avery Cross (Cooper) is patrolling the area and gets the call that the bike bandit escaping through the neighborhood. What unfolds after these events is more than just a chase between cops and robberies.
The adrenaline-packed beginning scenes turned out to be a drama dealing with life. It showed how people are all connected, and that one decision can change not only one person but many others as well. I thought the movie was a little drawn out at times. How some parts played out were very predictable and took away the suspense that keeps the audience always guessing. The characters were pretty plain and I didn’t see a lot of depth going on, especially with Romina, who I end up absolutely hating as the movie unfolds. Overall, I’d say see if you can’t go catch Iron Man 3 or The Great Gatsby. If you don’t enjoy it, it will at least give you a different perspective on life.
I give it 6 limp legs out of 10.