Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Place Beyond the Pines


Here is a really odd movie. Glancing at the trailer without really paying attention, I had gathered that it was going to be about motorcycle stunt driving. And at first, it is. Ryan Gosling goes into a spherical metal cage with two other motorcyclists and they do some hair-raising stunts. (I once saw a show like it at the Jefferson County Fair in Beaumont, though the riders only went in a cylinder, not a sphere.) Then he discovers that he’s fathered a child, and his focus shifts. He wants to be a good father, but he’s not welcomed. He and a friend start robbing banks and getting away on his cycle and a moving van. This is his idea of providing for the child. And then … should I give a spoiler warning? It sure surprised me, so if you don’t want to know what comes next, stop reading here. What happens is … Gosling dies. Shot by a cop as he’s trying to escape from a bank robbery.

Then it becomes the cop’s story. He’s a hero. And then we shift forward fifteen years. The cop is now a district attorney with a son who is getting into drug trouble. And … well, it all gets very complicated. To tell you the truth, I couldn’t see the point in connecting these two separate stories, though there is a connection between the two sons near the end. I just didn’t get the point, I’m afraid.