THE BIKERIDERS Is an Honest Glimpse Into the Real Lives of People of the First Motorcycle Club Era — GeekTyrant

I got the chance to see a screening of The Bikeriders this week ahead of its wide release this weekend, and the film was a beautiful, real snapshot in time of an era that came and went 50 years ago.

The film had the feel of a documentary, complete with the storyteller who captured it all at the heart of it. The film is based on the book The Bikeriders by photographer Danny Lyon, who was a member of the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club from 1963 to 1967.

He published his book of photos in 1968, and the actor who portrayed him, Mike Faist, was seen throughout the film, photographing and audio recording the story of the group from its conception through its evolution.

Tom Hardy’s Johnny was an everyman who was inspired by a character in a movie who epitomized coolness. He was a trucker who had only identified as husband and father before deciding to start his own club, where he could be respected and offer a place to be recognized to other men in his community.

Austin Butler’s Benny was a hotheaded young man with nothing to lose before realizing he had something to live for. And Jodie Comer’s Kathy was the film’s witty narrator who pulled no punches and wore her heart on her sleeve.

Michael Shannon, Boyd Holbrook, Damon Herriman, Emory Cohen, Norman Reedus, and Toby Wallace were each given moments to shine in the film, opening the door just slightly to their pain before moving on to the next scene. No moment was wasted in telling this story, and it took viewers back to this place in time so completely, it made sure to give you the entire story, and left nothing unsaid.

I was blown away by Jeff Nichols’s ability to take these people in the photos and recordings and fill in every gap in their lives, as if they had risen from the pages to tell their stories themselves.

The audience laughed together, held their breaths, and gasped when the violence or turn of story shocked us. It was a great film, and a great time at the movies.

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