Watch Easy Rider: The Ride Back
- 1 hr 45 min
Easy Rider: The Ride Back is a 2012 film that tells the backstory of the classic 1969 road movie, Easy Rider. The story begins in 2010 in Wyoming, where Wyatt "Captain America" Williams, the iconic character played by Peter Fonda in the original film, has died. His estranged brother, Morgan "Mack" Williams (Chris Engen), a former Marine who runs a ranch in Montana with his wife (Sheree J. Wilson), gets the news and sets out to find out what happened to Wyatt. Mack sets out on a journey that retraces the route taken by Wyatt and Billy in Easy Rider. Along the way, he meets a variety of people, including a group of bikers, a Native American activist, and a drug dealer. He also learns more about his brother's life and the reasons why he went on the road. The film uses flashbacks to show the young Wyatt and Billy (Hunter Bodine and Phil Pitzer) as they make their way from Los Angeles to New Orleans. The film is a homage to the original Easy Rider, but also a standalone story that explores themes of family, identity, and freedom. Mack is portrayed as a conservative, God-fearing man who initially resents his brother's choices in life. However, as he learns more about Wyatt's experiences, he begins to understand and even embrace the counterculture values of the 1960s. The film does not shy away from addressing the darker aspects of the era, such as drug addiction, police brutality, and the Vietnam War. The performances in Easy Rider: The Ride Back are solid, with Chris Engen carrying most of the film on his shoulders. He gives a nuanced performance that shows Mack's emotional journey from anger to understanding. Sheree J. Wilson is also effective as Mack's wife, who supports him on his quest but also worries about his safety. Jeff Fahey has a small but memorable role as a drug dealer who has his own connections to Wyatt. The cinematography is one of the strengths of the film, as it captures the beauty of the American landscape and the atmosphere of the places that Mack visits. The music is also an essential element, with classic rock songs from the original Easy Rider and new songs that fit the mood of the film. The film uses the song "Born to Be Wild" in a way that is both nostalgic and poignant. One of the challenges of Easy Rider: The Ride Back is that it faces the daunting task of living up to the legacy of the original Easy Rider, which is considered a milestone in American cinema. The film does not try to replicate the style or the themes of the original, but rather to offer a fresh perspective on its characters and its message. Some viewers might find that the film is too derivative or too predictable, but others might appreciate its respectful approach to the Easy Rider mythology. Overall, Easy Rider: The Ride Back is a solid film that pays tribute to a classic movie while adding a new chapter to its story. It is a road movie that takes its time to explore its characters and its themes, and that offers a poignant reflection on the legacy of the 1960s. Whether you are a fan of the original Easy Rider or a newcomer to its world, this film is worth checking out.