Starring: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson
Director: Dennis Hopper
Running Time: 92 mins
Easy Rider is an American film about two bikers who travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans on a huge road trip as they search for answers about life and America.
The title says it all. In what might just be the quintessential definition of laid-back hippies, Easy Rider is a very free-willed and deep film, and although it’s definitely an appropriate and often intriguing style for the story at hand, it’s not always the most riveting to watch on screen.
Let’s start on the bright side though, by saying that this would probably be the perfect movie for those of you looking for a deep, philosophical and often bordering on hallucinogenic watch. Capturing the spirit of hippie culture excellently, this is surely the film that will please fans of the lifestyle.
What’s more is that there’s a little bit of history in there too. Whilst the lead duo’s deep philosophical thought is the primary focus, what I actually found most interesting about Easy Rider was the way it looked at the clash of cultures, regions and generations during the 1960s.
Coming to a head particularly in the latter stages, there are some fascinating insights into how different various parts of America had become in this period, yielding some very unpredictable results.
Another bonus of the film is definitely its soundtrack. Of the numerous relaxed and free thinking things that the film does, the music is definitely the best. Featuring a whole host of now legendary tunes, the soundtrack gives the film that distinctive road trip feel, which is its most entertaining feature by far.
With all that said, I still have to say that I wasn’t fully captivated by Easy Rider. Contrary to what you might think, it’s not the slow pacing and lack of dialogue that does it (they’re actually some more of the film’s strengths), but instead the very fluid and free-thinking nature of the whole affair.
As I said at the beginning, that will definitely be a positive if you want something psychedelic, and although I love to see films pushing the boundaries, as this very much did back in 1969, I felt underwhelmed by the some of the film’s more abstract qualities, taking away significantly from my overall interest.
In the end, I’m not going to deny the legacy and innovation of Easy Rider, and it definitely has a lot of strong points going for it. However, I do feel that fully enjoying this film requires a particular taste, and that’s why I’m giving Easy Rider a 7.2 overall.