The Place Beyond the Pines Movie Review

Frankie Garcia | March 15, 2013

Motorcycle stunts and crashes, bank robberies, and dramatic action all mixed into an epic film adventure. MotoUSA was fortunate enough to recently receive an invite to an early screening of soon-to-be in theatres feature film, The Place Beyond the Pines.

Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling stars as Luke, a traveling carnival motorcycle stunt rider whose life is changed after attempting to reconnect with an old lover, Romina (Eva Mendes) while passing through Schenectady, New York. After learning he is the father of Romina’s child, Luke gives up his life on the road to try and provide for his family.
A job as an auto mechanic isn’t enough to make a decent living, so Luke uses his motorcycle riding skills to successfully rob banks. But the cash eventually turns the wild man greedy as he attempts to rob two banks in one day. The police, including rookie officer Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) give chase to the bandit, and a crazy stunt-filled ride ensues.

Fast forward about a decade and the sons of Luke and cross are attending high school together, not knowing anything about their fathers’ pasts. Twists and turns uncover the truths and bring out violent events between the two…but we’re not going to spoil it anymore for those who plan on seeing the film.

In order to make scenes like they are a real-life situation, Gosling had to learn how to ride and execute some of his own stunts – including riding out into oncoming traffic during his bank escapes.
“The most complicated scene was where Luke goes into a bank, robs it, leaves the bank, escapes on his motorcycle, and drives at tremendously fast speeds through a busy intersection amidst lots of other cars while being pursued by a cop,” explains filmmaker Derek Cianfrance. “All of this happens in a single take, no place to do a ‘Texas switch.’ So Ryan had to become very proficient on the bike. He trained with Rick Miller, one of the great Hollywood stunt men, six hours a day for two months. His prowess took our breath away. In order to get that scene completed, Ryan did 22 takes. Every time, he almost got hit.”

From what we could see in the movie, it looked that every motorcycle used is a four-stroke. One bike we were able to identify is a Honda CRF230 used in the police chase. Throughout the film sound effects ranged from two-stroke, four-stroke, and even at times sport bike noises. The effects weren’t consistent, but all in all we enjoyed the film.
The Place Beyond the Pines will be in select theaters Friday, March 29th.

Frankie Garcia

Associate Editor| Articles | Competing in every discipline of motorcycle racing possible, when he isn't mastering his skill of social networking, the new kid will do just about anything to throw his leg over a bike and ride it until he simply cannot hold on anymore.