The Bikeriders - Review (London Film Festival 2023)
Tear This World Apart. 3.5 / 5
Directed by Jeff Nichols.
A local club of outsiders united by good times and rumbling bikes are forced to make choices about their loyalty to the club and to each other.
Dripping in style, The Bikeriders relies too much on its impressive ensemble cast, boasting some notable names but failing to give most anything worthy to do.
Starting off strong, the roar of motorcycle engines and a terrific soundtrack help to set the tone. Jeff Nichols adapts a real-life photobook to bring this motorcycle gang to life. The film does an outstanding job of setting the scene transporting you to the American mid-west in the 1960s full of leather jackets and colourful characters. Told mainly through interviews with the gang and Jodie Comer's Kathy, we meet the different personalities of the gang, how the Vandals came to be and what they slowly evolved into.
The first half is easily the strongest becoming more predictable as the runtime continues. Fortunately, the on-screen talent like Tom Hardy and Austin Butler bring an undeniable level of charisma, making even smaller character moments pack a punch. Comer stands out as the neutral bystander who despite her best efforts can only watch as the gang begins to evolve into a shell of its former self.
A compelling character piece that plays things a little bit too safe, hitting the expected points without having much else to say. Worth watching just to be in the presence of the rebellious energy without having to own a leather jacket or get a motorcycle licence.