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'The Bikeriders' movie review: A bumpy ride through the 60s

Inspired by Danny Lyon’s photographic book, the movie delves into the transformation of 1960s biker gangs from social clubs to organised crime.
Last Updated : 22 June 2024, 02:30 IST

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The Bikeriders
2.5/5
Director:Jeff Nichols
Cast:Jodie Comer, Austin Robert Butler, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon

Imagine a Martin Scorsese film set in the 1960s biker subculture of Chicago, echoing 'Goodfellas' but under two hours. Jeff Nichols' The Bikeriders might be what you'd get. Inspired by Danny Lyon’s photographic book, the movie delves into the transformation of 1960s biker gangs from social clubs to organised crime.

Centered around Kathy, portrayed by Jodie Comer (Free Guy), the narrative dives into the dangerous world of the Vandals, led by the charismatic Johnny (Tom Hardy, Mad Max) and his right-hand man Benny (Austin Butler, Elvis). These characters channel the rebellious spirits of Marlon Brando and James Dean, offering a window into a turbulent subculture through Kathy's eyes.

Tom Hardy's Johnny, with his inconsistent American accent, subtly recalls his portrayal of the distinctly British Kray Twins in Legend (2015), occasionally mumbling his words, while Butler appears limited to his previous portrayal of Elvis, serving mainly as a visual attraction.

In contrast, Jodie Comer gives a compelling performance, despite her peculiar Midwestern accent. Nichols introduces engaging secondary characters like Zipco and Sonny played by Michael Shannon and Norman Reedus respectively, creating memorable, brief appearances that hint at deeper, unexplored narratives. The cinematography by Adam Stone and David Wingo's musical score complement each other effectively, supported by a few cleverly written lines.

While he Bikeriders manages to be succinct yet impactful, it loses its pace in the latter half, quickly descending into obscurity, much like the bygone era of American counterculture it depicts.

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Published 22 June 2024, 02:30 IST

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