Movie Review: The Place Beyond The Pines (2012)

Posted: January 19, 2014 in Drama
Tags: , ,

the place between the pines

Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) is a stunt motorcycle rider in a carnival, who has a one night stand with Romina, (Eva Mendes)  which results in a son, named Jason. (Anthony Pizza, Dane DeHaan) Romina has moved on, she’s seeing another man, named Kofi.  (Mahershala Ali)  Luke still feels a sense of responsibility to support his son, monetarily.  He quits the carnival, and meets a man named Robin, (Ben Mendelsohn) who convinces Luke to be a bank robber.  Luke would steal the cash, and drive his motorcycle to Robin’s awaiting truck.  They knock over a few banks, and Robin wants to call it quits, but Luke keeps going, by himself.  Soon Robin is tracked down and shot by a rookie cop named Avery (Bradley Cooper) who also has a one year old son named A.J (Travis Jackson Campbell,, Emory Cohen) What effect does Luke’s shooting have on Avery, Jason, and A.J.?

I liked the beginning of this story, but soon it loses the intensity and focus of the story.  The scope of the story is too sweeping, not only does it cover one generation, but two.  And by the time the second generation rolls around, the intensity fades away.  This movie tries too hard to be East of Eden, but Derek Cianfrace is not John Steinbeck, although I did like Blue Valentine.  And if this is what kids are like in the next generation,  taking oxycontin by the fistful and washing it down with booze, I weep for future generations. There are too many coincidences in the script tying one generation to the next, beginning with the fact that both criminal and cop have one year old sons, and there is a wholly unnecessary subplot about police corruption and overall the movie is too long.

The acting is really good, at least by the older generation. Ryan Gosling gives his patented laconic, intense, loner performance, and this time it works, unlike Only God Forgives and the Gangster Squad. Bradley Cooper gives a mostly good performance, with some lackadaisical scenes tucked in-between. Eva Mendes is good, despite some awful makeup to make her appear older, but the younger actors, Dane DeHaan and Emory Cohen cannot match the intensity of their elders.  They have the elocution of bad rappers, and most of all, they really can’t act.

The direction is very good especially the scenes involving the motorcycle, but an overly long, complicated script derail what could have been a really good movie.

The Place Beyond the Pines.  Left me pining for a shorter film.

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