Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hell Ride (2008)

Director: Larry Bishop

Starring: Larry Bishop, Michael Madsen, Dennis Hopper, Vinnie Jones, Eric Balfour, Leonor Varela, David Carradine

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The rebellion against all there is

Plot: When rival bikers savagely murder his woman, Pistolero (Bishop) and his cohorts Comanche (Balfour) and the Gent (Madsen) round up the crew and take to the streets in search of some old-fashioned revenge.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? I don't know. I just don't know.

My head hangs very low. I FUCKING LOVED Larry Bishop in KILL BILL (2004) where he played Michael Madsen's boss at the titty bar.

DAMN, that's funny. Now take that character, have that character direct himself in a self-indulgent, look at how cool I am movie and you've got yourself one sadly missed opportunity. It PAINS me to say this. I've been waiting to see this flick since I heard about it years ago. The cast alone screamed WATCH ME! Let alone that it's a biker movie? I'm so on board for this.

The supporting cast is fantastic. Madsen fans are going to love him in HELL RIDE. Dennis Hopper was a hoot. I could have used more Vinnie Jones in badass mode, though. He kind of took the back burner but what got front and center was Larry Bishop's Pistolero. Take his character from KILL BILL and suck the life out of him and this is what you're left with. Tarantino got a pitch perfect performance out of Bishop (as he often does with everyone he works with). My guess is Larry wanted to take everything that was cool about him, ramp it up and make a movie around it. The problem is, while Pistolero is cool to a degree, he's WAY too cool for school if you dig what I'm sayin'.

Bishop gives Pistolero WAYYYYY too much screen time. Not only that but the camera stays on him far too long and his scenes go on longer than they should. It's the kind of thing where the camera is there a couple of beats before and a couple after he delivers a line that irritated me. It deliberately slowed the scenes and picture down.

That's just focusing on the negative. The performances were fun, save one, there's plenty of exploitation staples like sex, guns and revenge, and the picture looks fantastic. Oh, and the score (by Daniele Luppi) and song choices are great! I just can't get past the dragging pace of a lot of the movie, especially surrounding Pistolero's scenes.

The bottom line is had Bishop dialed it back a few clicks, thereby cutting the what-should-breeze-by-but-feels-like-three-hours 84 minute run time down by a solid 10-15 minutes, this could be a really fun ride. Instead it left me wanting to get off at the next exit. And I wanted to like this movie so much. I hate saying these things about Larry Bishop, a guy who made such an impression in Tarantino's already amazing masterpiece, KILL BILL. Sigh.

No comments:

Post a Comment