The Place Beyond the Pines

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A new Ryan Gosling vehicle that isn’t a fastback 2008 Bullitt Mustang. So is it the sequel to Blue Valentine, given this is the same director? Or is it Drive, given he’s a badass on a motorbike trying to muscle in on a single mother and child?

A robbery (or seven) is staged and Drive seems to be winning, when suddenly Bradley Cooper mounts a hostile takeover of the movie, Gosling is out the window, and we’re into a small town Serpico, Coop battling his conscience as well as the perfidious dominant paradigm of the the town’s least-finest.

For all that, The Place Beyond the Pines is two not-bad movies for the price of one, actually two and a half as it tries to go an extra mile with a generational leap into the future to establish a beachhead from which to look back upon itself. But it accomplishes this feat to limited effect. It also seems undecided about whether to osmose its themes or shoot an arrow in our heart with bursts of hyperventilating drama. Oh well why not both? Good, but unevenly so. And long.

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