Ryan Gosling is no stranger to picking movies where he plays mysterious stuntmen, ahem, Drive. In The Place Beyond the Pines, Gosling is Luke Glanton, a motorcycle stunt driver for a traveling fair. Before going to the next town, Glanton finds out he fathered a child the year before when he was spending time with a young waitress named Romina played by Eva Mendes. The film follows Glanton and the people around him in the days and decades after he quits the fair to stay near Romina and his baby Jason.
While riding his dirt bike in the woods, Glanton is lucky enough to meet Ben Mendelsohn’s character named Robin who offers Glanton a job at his isolated repair shop. Glanton accepts, knowing he needs to support his family. After his wages as a mechanic aren’t enough, Robin half-jokingly suggests they should rob banks. Robin then admits to a couple heists in the past. That’s all Glanton needs to hear.
After a few successful robberies, Robin wants to hide out but Glanton insists on hitting more banks. When Robin refuses and even ruins Glanton’s motorcycle to prevent him from continuing his robbing spree, Glanton threatens Robin with a gun. Without a partner, Glanton’s ability to rob banks is limited and during his last robbery, a young police officer named Avery Cross played by Bradley Cooper guns down the perp.
This is when the film intertwines the lives of Glanton and Cross. The movie seems to suggest doing the “right-thing” doesn’t always make things better. In fact, doing the “right-thing” can actually lead to the downfall of everyone affected, even decades later.
The film spans in time from the mid 90′s to the present, showing the audience a variety of vehicles including the loathed and loved Chevrolet Caprice, the Ford Bronco II compact SUV, an old yellow Toyota pickup before it was even called a Tacoma and a Honda Prelude. Modern cars include a BMW 7-Series and Chevrolet Cruz. Keep reading to see them all.
The XR650L is the motorcycle used by Glanton in what’s called the “circle of death” or “globe of death” or basically anything that involves a round shape and death. Example here. He uses this bike as not only his mode of transportation, but an accomplice in his bank robberies.
While young Bradley Cooper is on the force, he is seen driving around with Deluca played by Ray Liotta and other detectives in a Chevrolet Caprice. There are also Caprices seen with the 9C1 Police Package which makes sense since it was once the most popular police cruiser of the mid 90′s.
Before there was the Toyota Tacoma or Toyota Tundra, there was the Toyota Pickup. Robin drives a yellow Toyota pickup similar to the one above when towing his ATV or Glanton’s dirt bike. Unlike the truck above, Robin’s pickup is equipped with a brush guard which adds a level of ruggedness fitting for Robin.
Ford Bronco II
Kofi, Romina’s husband played by Mahershala Ali, drives a red Ford Bronco II. Much like the questionable safety rating of the rollover-prone Bronco II, Koﬁ’s ability to head a household is also questionable in Glanton’s opinion. This questioning leads to the demise of both the Bronco II and Glanton.
1982 Honda Prelude
Romina is never seen driving the Honda Prelude, but it does make an appearance at the diner she works and outside Kofi’s home. The sporty coupe was positioned by Honda to compete against other economy sport coupes like the Toyota Celica and Mitsubishi Eclipse. Side note, it’s been listed for sale online.
After making the move from police work into politics, the audience meets an older Avery Cross that lives a life of opulence. A BMW 7-Series and a big house are part this life, but it comes at the expense of his marriage and relationship with his son.
Before the movie fades to black, Romina is seen walking from her Chevrolet Cruz to the mailbox. While the shift from Caprice to 7-Series marks a change in Avery Cross, there is no discernible change in Romina when she goes from Prelude to Cruz.
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Written by Max Katsarelas