The Place beyond the Pines is getting many favourable reviews and it is not completely undeserving of the accolades.
It features Ryan Gosling as a very cool stunt motorcycle rider.
You know he’s cool because he smokes, is covered with silly tattoos and often wears his shirts inside out. As a performer in a travelling show he arrives in upstate New York where an old girlfriend (Eva Mendes) looks him up and he finds out she has a baby, his son.
Struck by parental guilt he quits his nomadic life and tries to support his son.
But Mendes is in another relationship and she’s not interested in getting involved with Gosling again, especially when he starts using his motorcycle skills to rob banks.
Bradley Cooper plays a policeman who tangles with Gosling during one of his bank jobs and becomes a local hero. He too has a baby son and he uses his heroic deed to start a political career. Fifteen years go by and it’s not a big surprise when the two sons also meet.
Some good acting here, especially from Gosling and Cooper, but Mendes isn’t given much to do. Also some good action sequences in the first third or so. But the plot, especially during the second half involving the sons, is thin and, as is often the case, it all goes on too long.
Also, there are no characters to admire in this fathers and sons movie.
Rating: three deer out of five
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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.