Derek Cianfrances crime drama "The Place Beyond the Pines" is actually a two part tightly juxtaposed parable that is at times violent, and at times poignant, but always intriguing.
Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) is a tattooed carnival motorcycle freak who performs tricks with his bike in a metal cage. After one of his performances he runs into Romina (Eva Mendes), a woman in which he had a brief sexual encounter with. When he decides to go visit her the next day, Luke finds out an unexpected surprise: He has a son. Feeling all fatherly about the child, Luke offers to take care of Romina and the baby, but two problems exist: Romina lives with another man; and Luke has no means to support them. So what is a poor, motorcycle stunt man to do for financial support? Obvious ─ rob some banks. Luke befriends a man by the name of Robin (Ben Mendelsohn), who claims that he has been involved in this line of work and that he knows how to get the job done. We all know what happens when people rob banks: they get greedy and they can’t stop.Luke has a confrontation with the cops, and all I can tell you is that he loses.
Part 2. The cop who is responsible for the demise of Luke, Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), who has an infant child himself, feels remorse over the incident. While recovering from the gunshot wound he suffered in his encounter with Luke, the boys from the precinct take him out for a shakedown; and this is when he realizes that the entire force is corrupt.
The movie jumps 15 years and Avery is now running for New York Attorney General. He is on a crusade to remove corruption, but there are problems. His son is a drug addict who has made a new friend at school. And who do think that might be?
'The Place Beyond the Pines" may seem improbable at times, but that doesn’t matter. The story will keep you mesmerized and there is some fine acting to boot. I will tell you this: When you watch this movie get ready to spend an entire afternoon in front of the television. If I recall, I took five bathrooms breaks, and five munchie runs. This is one of the longest flicks I have ever seen (or at least it seemed so), but every minute was worth it. I give it big thumbs up. (Rated R; run time 140 min.)
My Rating 4 of 5 Bank robberies.