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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Film Review: The Place Beyond the Pines

An illustrated review of new action thriller The Place Beyond the Pines, starring RYAN GOSLING, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper…

Written by Matt Bramford


The Place Beyond the Pines by Krister Selin

Hollywood heartthrobs Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper star alongside Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta in new action thriller The Place Beyond the Pines.


Ryan Gosling by Michael Arnold

I don’t mind admitting I’m a bit out of my depth here: regular film reviews at Amelia’s Magazine tend to be fashion, art or music based, but I was invited along to see a preview of this flick after reviewing the glorious Diana Vreeland documentary, so I thought – oh, why not. What I didn’t bank on was the film’s dramatic plot and radical twists and now I’m a totally stuck. But I’ll give it a go anyway. I am desperate to shout ‘AND THEN THIS HAPPENS’ but I’ll do my best not to as this is one of those films where the surprises make it enjoyable.


Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper by youdesignme

Gosling plays heartthrob Handsome Luke, not dissimilar to other characters he’s portrayed: he doesn’t say a great deal, instead spending the majority of the film perfecting his vacant stare and sideways smirk; the latter will no doubt have its own Hollywood star before Gosling does. The film opens with him smoking in a grotty dressing room and then we follow him into a carnival tent, where he’s performing a terrifying stunt on a motorbike that involves riding around a huge metal sphere with two other performers. Eva Mendes shows up shortly afterwards as Romina, looking ridiculously hot as always. It’s pretty clear from their short exchange and Gosling’s glad eye that they’ve copped off recently. Cut to a year later and, you guessed it, Romina is with Handsome Luke’s child. Oh, those pesky carnival hunks and their maverick approach to contraception. Why I oughta.


The Places Beyond the Pines by Gemma Cotterell

Unfortunately in Gosling’s absence, Mendes has shacked up with another hunk, but this time a more suitable, stable one. Gosling is determined to win her and his son back, though, and with the help of Ben Mendelsohn‘s character Jack, decides that the best way to do this is to start robbing banks. He enters various establishments in his motorcycle helmet, screaming expletives at workers and ordering them to stuff his rucksack with dollar bills. Each time the process becomes more sinister and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this isn’t going to end well.


Bradley Cooper by Karina Järv

Bradley Cooper, in stark contrast, plays , a mature and sensible cop with a wife and kid and who seems to have it all together until a run-in with Handsome Luke ends badly and Cooper is hospitalised. Returning to work, he uncovers major corruption at his local cop shop and makes it his mission to overturn it. Cue lots of shouting and fists slamming on tables. Gripping stuff.


Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper by Natasha David

The film jumps fifteen years into the future from the 1990s to the present day and explores the relationship between father and son, documenting the effect that each of the main character’s lives has had on their children. The pace slows down a little in the absence of daredevil motorcycle riding, punch-ups and gun fights, but the story is worth following.


Eva Mendes by youdesignme

Ryan Gosling is hotter than I’ve ever seen him (and I’ve watched a lot of his movies – often alone) and Bradley Cooper gives it his all as the charming, troubled cop-cum-chief. Eva Mendes dominates whenever she’s on screen, and I have decided that I actually quite fancy her and am less jealous that this film brought Mendes and Gosling together and I think they will have beautiful children. It’s not a short film, though, and with the dramatic twists the film is split into different parts; you’ll leave the cinema thinking you’ve watched three movies. The ending is a tiny bit disappointing with Hollywood predictability, but by that point I don’t think I could have handled any more drama. Police corruption, murder, family ties and carnival contraception are all explored. It’s a dramatic thriller that even the most cynical of movie-goers will like, if only to enjoy the good looks of the three billed stars. I’ll certainly give it another watch.


Bradley Cooper by Michael Arnold

The Place Beyond the Pines is released in cinemas on April 12.

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