“If you ride like lightning, you’re gonna crash like thunder”
Is there anyone’s life worth documenting more than that of a traveling motorcycle stunt driver? Well, probably. But is there anyone more perfect than Ryan Gosling to play a tatted-up (like, knife dripping blood in the form of a teardrop, tatted up) stunt motorcyclist? Obviously not!
In Derek Cianfrance’s (most known for his other Gosling film, Blue Valentine) The Place Beyond the Pines, you have Luke (Ryan Gosling): a crazy-talented stunt motorcyclist traveling on the road, who happens to stop back in upstate Schenectady, New York, where he finds out one of his old lovers Romina (Eva Mendes) has birthed his child Jason (played by Anthony Pizza as a baby, later by Dane DeHaan). Except for one minor detail: she has a totally separate life, living with her other half.
Luke, naturally wanting to become a part of Jason’s life, is burdened by his current work situation being on the road, so he quits his job and starts working for a local auto mechanic, Robin (Ben Mendelsohn). The two pair up and conspire to “get rich quick” (aka rob a lot of banks, “Not since Hall and Oates has there been such a team!”) so Luke can ultimately support Romina and Jason, but the seemingly easy way out only leads Luke to become addicted to the fast cash route (he goes completely nuts!)
“So where does Bradley Cooper come in throughout all of this?,” you might be wondering. Well I don’t want to give it all away, but Luke ends up running into rookie cop Avery (Cooper) during a very heated chase, opening up a whole other situation that leaves another son’s future at stake—enfolding into a very complex familial situation.
I know what you’re thinking, this movie is SO 2011 (Drive), but it’s more than just Gosling ridin’ around robbin’ banks in a motorcycle; A Place Beyond the Pines‘ story comes in full circle showing the great complexities of the father-son bond, how our dark pasts always come back to haunt us, and the ultimate need for human affection in life.
And if you can get past the weird face tattoo, Ryan Gosling is pretty H-O-T! Making all the more reasons to go see this tearjerking drama. BONUS: some surprise musical beats including a notable Bruce Springsteen jam session, and not one, but TWO Hall and Oates clips that’ll leave you wanting more.
(photo via Collider)