Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Place Beyond the Pines Review - 3 Stars

“The Place Beyond the Pines” tells an epic story with the help of great actors, notably Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper.   As the story begins, we meet Gosling, a motorcycle stuntman touring with a seedy carnival side-show.  He meets up with Eva Mendez who informs him their one night stand the last time he came to town produced a son.  The idea of fatherhood appeals to Gosling, who quits the sideshow with the idea of getting involved with his newborn son.  Soon he and a friend hatch a scheme to rob banks, using Gosling’s getaway ability and the friend’s container truck.  The money enables Gosling to buy things for his son, but it puts him at odds with Mendez and her new husband, leading to an assault charge and one robbery too many.  Rookie cop Bradley Cooper captures  Gosling, shots fire, Gosling dies, and Cooper takes a bullet in his leg.  The event turns Cooper into a police hero and we learn he has turned his back on a career in law to work for the police force.  But events show Cooper the shady side of law enforcement, thanks to a cameo by the great Ray Liotta.  Guilt over killing the father of a newborn preys on Cooper, the father of a newborn himself.  Cooper’s encounter changes his life and we fast forward fifteen years ahead.  The sons of the dead man and his killer meet in school, bond and then fight.  Dane DeHaan and Emory Cohen make strong statements as the star-crossed teenage boys.   This generation to generation saga takes its time but kept me interested.  The combination of great acting and an interesting story makes “The Place Beyond the Pines” an unusually good experience.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Epic drama.  Is it entertaining?  Great acting.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Go.