The Bikeriders has a wheelie good cast; worthwhile trip

Laura Delaney Laura Delaney | 06-20 00:15

Inspired by Danny Lyon's acclaimed black-and-white book of photography, The Bikeriders is a deftly crafted homage to outlaw culture in the '60s that’s driven by a trio of wheel-turning performances.

Writer-director Jeff Nichols’ last outing - 2016’s Oscar-nominated Loving - brought viewers on a quietly spellbinding journey. His latest richly developed offering is another well-oiled machine.

Underneath the loud engines, Jodie Comer’s astounding performance as our narrator, Kathy, makes the most noise.

Keeping the show on the road, her nasally accent introduces viewers to The Vandals, a close-knit, leather-clad midwestern biker crew, who transform from a small Chicago motorcycle club to a nationally syndicated criminal organisation.

Comer plays Kathy, partner to Austin Butler's Benny

The Bikeriders is undoubtedly an Austin Butler vehicle. Like his stellar outing in 2022’s Elvis, he once again, takes movie-goers on a wild and magnetic ride, as his character grapples with the allure of a rebellious lifestyle.

Tom Hardy resists the urge to overact as the de facto leader of the sub-culture biker clique. Instead of becoming a Hells Angels-esque caricature, he aims for a Marlon Brando meets Bugs Bunny hybrid. You’ll understand when you hear his cartoonish voice.

Nichols’ lens thoughtfully captures a time marred by social and political unrest. His considered direction and smartly structured script does a great job at balancing the emotional moments with the revved up personalities involved in the story.

Julie Monroe’s tight editing and slick pace keeps the motor running, while David Wingo’s score crackles with coolness.

The Bikeriders won’t have you doing wheelies around the carpark, but it has just enough gas to send you home in the right direction.

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