Place Beyond the Pines is the longest film in cinema history. Wikipedia and IMDb might tell you that it’s only two hours and twenty minutes long but believe me, Place Beyond the Pines is the longest film in cinema history. Three years ago writer/director Derek Cianfrance and actor Ryan Gosling teamed up to create the memorable and enormously underrated Blue Valentine and now they’re back to try again. The problem is that instead of making one great film, they’ve put together three poor ones and have thrust upon the audience a long, mess of a film which as well as being convoluted, goes nowhere, slowly.
As advertised the film initially focuses on a motorcycle stunt rider called Luke (Gosling) who discovers that he has a one year old son with a former fling (Eva Mendes). Luke quits the road and attempts to settle and help raise his child but turns to bank robbery as a means of doing so. Considering you have Ryan Gosling on screen, robbing banks, this is all very dull. The film heats up at a crossing of paths and passing of the lead actor torch when police officer Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) tracks the bank robbing Luke to a house in which he is holed up. This brief five minutes or so is entertaining and well done and marks a change in plot. The film then turns in to a tale of ambition and police corruption before heading into the future to attempt to tie everything together in a sort of father son retribution thriller kind of way.