Movie Review – The Bikeriders


The Bikeriders is a nostalgic but cynical look at American motorcycle club culture.


The Bikeriders Review: 5 thumbs-up and 3 thumbs-down
Snappy Movie Review | The Bikeriders

The Bikeriders Synopsis

IInspired by Danny Lyon’s 1967 photo book of the same name, The Bikeriders tells the story of the Vandals, a Chicago motorcycle club that grew too fast and too unhealthily. The story is told from the viewpoint of Kathy (Jodie Comer), the long-suffering wife of Benny (Austin Butler), one of Vandal’s founding members.

Snappy Review

Documentary-like in framing and cynical throughout, Jeff Nichols’ The Bikeriders seems at first glance a biker movie. It is that, but it is more so, a lament of one of the most infamous American countercultures of the 1960s. A phenomenon that was birthed by the social disintegration of the United States during those times and similarly, strangled by it.

This is important to know if you intend to watch this movie for euphoric road trips and exhilarating dirt races; there are barely any. Instead, the huge majority of The Bikeriders dwell on interactions between the key figures of The Vandals, which incidentally, is based on the historic Outlaws MC.

In other words, it’s a talky movie, very talky. Sporadic moments of gritty violence get your blood pumping and if you’re into bikes, you’ll get an eyeful of vintage Harleys. But honestly, unless you’re a biker or curious about said counterculture, you are going to find this movie very slow-moving, if not downright depressing.

Which is not to say this is a boring or bad show, or worse, technically incompetent. Jodie Comer and Tom Hardy both deliver sterling performances that are quietly magnetic. The former is the perfect embodiment of an independent-minded but ultimately long-suffering biker’s wife. The latter is, how to put it, a leader as charismatic as he is gentlemanly, as he is hapless. And in the end, a man with laudable intentions consumed by a vision he lost leadership of.

The direct and veiled interactions of these two anchor the show and keep it alive. Meanwhile, the regrets of the other Vandals poignantly depict the fragmentations of American society back then. Splinters that brought the men together but would also, eventually, tear them apart.

It’s a social thesis with a whole table of food for thought. Might I highlight that interwoven into the narrative are also themes of toxic masculinity and intergenerational transmission of violence. This is one movie that you will emerge from with a heavy heart.



If that’s what you’re looking for, well, The Bikeriders will be a stupendous, contemplative watch for you.

If not, I think the movie is still worth your time. Just not in the thrilling, male camaraderie/crime escapade way you might expect.

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Watch the trailer here.


Harley Davidson Convoy and Feature of the New 2024 Hydra-Glide Revival at Shaw Lido Singapore

I’m not a biker. Thus, I have to quote directly from the press release I received.

The movie premiere of The Bikeriders at Shaw Lido Singapore on Jun 19, 2024, featured not just a Harley Davidson Convoy but also the unveiling of the 2024 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide Revival.

The iconic model is inspired by the look of the motorcycles ridden in the era of film, and if I remember correctly, is the one used by Johnny, the leader of the Vandals played by Tom Hardy.

Quote, unquote from the press release, the 2024 Hydra-Glide Revival model is “the fourth installment in the Harley-Davidson Icons motorcycle collection (and) celebrates the 75th anniversary of the 1949 introduction of the Hydra-Glide telescopic front suspension for Harley-Davidson E and F models. When Hydra-Glide equipped models were introduced, the saddle of a smooth-riding Harley-Davidson FL motorcycle was an exciting way for many Americans to explore the country on the new network of Interstate highways. Owners of the 2024 Hydra-Glide Revival model can trace their own route to freedom and adventure on a bike inspired by this classic era, while enjoying all the comfort and features of a modern Harley-Davidson motorcycle.”

Exclusive styling features include custom Redline Red paint with a Birch White panel on fuel tank sides, the same design featured on 1956 models. There are also chrome “Harley-Davidson V” tank badges inspired by 1955-56 tank badges and “Hydra-Glide” script badges located on the front fender skirt.



Additional styling features include instrument graphics inspired by those on the 1954-55 speedometer. The two-tone 21-inch (53.3 cm) high detachable windshield features a color-matched lower portion in Redline Red.

The Hydra-Glide Revival is now available at authorised Singapore dealer, Wearnes Harley-Davidson of Singapore.

Harley-Davidson Convoy The Bikeriders Premiere
The spirit of Harley-Davidson freedom, and the road, welcomed all at the entrance to Shaw House.
The Bikeriders Premiere Singapore
Hearing the arrival of the convoy and seeing this phalanx of rides was the perfect prelude to The Bikeriders.
Harley-Davidson 2024 Hydra-Glide Revival
The Harley-Davidson 2024 Hydra-Glide Revival at Shaw Lido main lobby.
2024 Hydra-Glide Revival
Another look at the 2024 Hydra-Glide Revival.
Harley-Davidson in Singapore
To be honest, I didn’t know there is a sizable community of Harley-Davidson fans in Singapore. So I learned quite a few things that evening.

Check out my other snappy movie reviews.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
The Bikeriders
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