Ride Like Lighting, Crash Like Thunder:The Place Beyond The Pines

This 2013 film directed by Derek Cianfrance stars Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes.

The Place Beyond The Pines is set up in a three part arc about two fathers, their sons and life decisions that affect future events.

Act 1 is about Luke(Gosling) who is a motorcycle stuntman and who has a baby with Romina(Mendes). He would do anything to be a part of the child’s life, he decides to become a bank rob to provide for his kid.

Act II centers around Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) who becomes a local hero after bringing down a criminal and then finds himself caught up in a police corruption scandal that is running rampart through the city. This puts him at odds with fellow cops, friends and family.

Act III focuses on Jason (Dane DeHaan) and AJ (Emory Cohen) a couple of teenagers who are the sons of Luke and Avery and everything that goes on between them is a result of their fathers past.

I was very surprised when I watched this film, surprised in a good way, because the trailers for this one were a little misleading, but misleading in a good way because for anyone who has seen the film knows that.

The Place Beyond The Pines is one of those films that really hits home for me, because I can relate to a few of the themes that plays out over the course of the movie, and I’m sure quite a few people who watch it will as well.

Gosling as Luke

Ryan Gosling gives a great performance here as Luke the mysterious stuntman turned bank robber. Gosling doesn’t have much to say similar to other characters (Drive, Only God Forgives) but like those other performances, Gosling says more with his facial expressions. Even though Luke does bad things he is somewhat a tortured soul that viewers would feel sympathy for because his intentions are good.

Cooper as Avery

Bradley Cooper really shows here why he’s received Oscar nods (most recently American Sniper). He’s come a long way from just being “The Hangover guy” and his recent movie roles are showing why exactly he’s a good actor.

Mendes as Romina

Eva Mendes gives without question her best performance of her career here as her character goes through the biggest changes throughout the film. Maybe its a good thing that her and Gosling have a real relationship because their scenes together come across very authentic.

Dane DeHaan shows here why his career can be whatever he wants it to be with this performance as well as his turns in Chronicle and Lawless.

I swear Ray Liotta is this generations Dick Miller as he shows up here. He’s mastered playing the character you love to hate. Liotta can still turn in a strong performance in movies not titled, Goodfellas.

Ben Mendelsohn gives a very solid performance and steals every scene he’s in. He’s become one of those character actors that are must watch and makes a movie that much better just being in it and he gives the line in my opinion that sums up the movie perfectly.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who didn’t catch it back in 2013, because Cianfrance does a great job directing. Ihave yet to watch his previous film Blue Valentine but it’s one my watch list.

Everyone in the cast is excellent here, and this is one of those films that shows that real stories are just as good as the big budget blockbuster films.

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