I went in not knowing much about The Bikeriders other than that it was set in the late ’60s/70s and starred a superb cast, including Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, and Norman Reedus.

Headstrong Kathy (Comer) is attracted to Benny (Butler), a member of the Midwestern motorcycle club, the Vandals, but as the club descends into a dangerous underworld of violence, Benny must choose between Kathy and his loyalty to the club after a chance encounter.

The Bikeriders is based on the 1967 photo book of the same title by Danny Lyon. Some of the photos are shown in the film’s end credits. The story of the rise and fall of the Vandals is superbly brought to the screen by writer and director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Midnight Special), the look of the 60s/70s is brought to life on the big screen perfectly.

The starts with Benny (Butler) in a bar before he is thrown outside for not removing his colours, we then leap forward to Kathy (Comer) in a laundrette telling the story of what happened to her, Benny and the rest of the bikers.

We travel through the years as her interviews are recorded, and later we also return to that moment in the bar that kicked everything off with the Vandals becoming bigger and other “chapters” wanting to join across the various states.

As the Vandals group grows and newcomers arrive things start to change and the Vandals go from just a group of guys that love to ride to becoming more violent and unpredictable.

The cast works very well in the film especially Jodie Comer and Austin Butler who have great chemistry on the screen, but for me, it’s Comer that steals the screen time that she is on. Jodie Comer is stunning from start to finish, she proves yet again that she is a brilliant performer and still surprises me with the vast array of accents she comes out with for her roles.

Although Austin Butler doesn’t say that much in his role as Benny he brings so much presence to the performance, there is a scene where Kathy is in the biker bar and sees Benny for the first time, this is one of those swoon moments as he looks up slowly from the pool table. Brilliantly shot and a moment that certainly sticks in your mind.

Tom Hardy who plays Johhny the leader of the Vandals is great with his gravelly voice and what at first seems like a subdued hardness, that’s until things kick off and we see a change in the character as he becomes very much a father figure for the original Vandals members.

Let’s not forget about Michael Shannon as Vipco who certainly brings a character to the screen very well that couldn’t get in the army and wants to belong with a group of people. A great surprise for me was seeing Norman Reedus in the role of Funny Sonny who comes to the Vandals during a picnic and stays as a loyal member.

The Bikeriders is a film that isn’t one for everyone, but for me, it was a fascinating watch, I couldn’t fault the cast, the director has brought us a thought-provoking film that didn’t seem like 1h 56m it felt a lot shorter. The cinematography by Adam Stone (Midnight Special) looks great.

The soundtrack for The Bikeriders is just amazing, including tracks from Cream, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and more, it’s one of those soundtracks that had my toes tapping throughout the film.

Source Blazing Minds