THE BIKERIDERS – Review by T.J. Callahan

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The Bikeriders: Everyone wants to be a part of something.

If you ever thought it would be cool to be part of a motorcycle gang, even just for two hours, then grab a leather jacket, a bottle of Falstaff and a pack of Marlboros as you saddle up for The Bikeriders. A story about Kings of the road, but told by one of their Queens.

Based on Danny Lyon’s 1967 photo book of the same name, The Bikeriders is the fictional story of Johnny, a truck driver who wanted to start a motorcycle club, and the gang of “Vandals” he rode around a seedy section of Chicago with. They lived life one day at a time, taking care of business when they needed to.

Written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Mud, Loving), The Bikeriders revs up with a fine tuned cast of rough riders that makes viewing an easy ride. Tom Hardy is Johnny, the leader of the pack. Austin Butler is Benny, the young buck with no fear and less luck. British actress Jodie Comer is our narrator and she’s the highlight as Benny’s gal, Kathy, a sassy, sensitive and sure of herself sidecar skirt with a thick Midwest accent. Michael Shannon and Norman Reedus are the grungier members of the gang. Mike Faist, who we just saw in Challengers, is Danny, the scribe who documented the evolution of the group of cycle enthusiasts into a bunch of violent undesirables.

The Bikeriders is R rated immersive cinema. The viewer travels along, embedded on the back of a bobber as it hits the big slab ready to rally with a bunch of wild and greasy guys. You may just leave the theater with a tattoo and smell like cigarette smoke. Nichols had been wanting to make a biker film for years and the wait has paid off. He weaves us in and out of every aspect of 1960’s cruiser life.

The Bikeriders is The Sopranos with Road Rash. Hoodlums on Hogs. The Outsiders of One Percenters. Woodstock on Wheels. A 2 cylinder Almost Famous. This lifecycle of a cycle mob gets an 8.

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T. J. Callahan

Texas Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the Marconi Award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT in Houston to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for Houston Radio Platinum and 101 Gold , Southern New Mexico's favorite radio station. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and The Sam Malone Show on KNTH in Houston. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her Friday and Saturdays on and on Friday afternoons on the Leslie T. Travis Show on KVLC FM in Las Cruces. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association and the Houston Film Critics Society. She truly believes everything in life is one degree of Blazing Saddles.