Easy Rider (1969)

DailyView: Day 109, Movie 182

With the inclusion of the movie, Easy Rider, I have had at least one movie during the DailyView from 2020 back to 1964, as Easy Rider’s year of 1969 was missing.

Easy Rider is considered a classic, a symbol of the 1960s. Unfortunately, I found most of the movie to be pretty boring and aimless. However, the end of the film is a shocking moment that helps bring much of the film together.

Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper), two hippie bikers from, LA who, after a drug deal, decided to head south to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Their time traveling the land of America dealing with the counterculture and the prejudice of the time followed them the whole way.

Fonda and Hopper gave good performances, apparently making much of the trip up on the spot. I think that is part of what made the film feel so erratic.

My favorite part of the film were two main things. One, the use of the amazing soundtrack with their impressive travel scenes. The countryside was beautifully shot and the music worked perfectly. The second part was the arrival and performance of Jack Nicholson as lawyer George Hanson, who joined with Wyatt and Billy on their journey for part of their trip. Nicholson was amazing as the man searching for the freedom that Wyatt and Billy were enjoying.

Then there was the ending. The third act had some bizarreness to it that was pulling the movie down for me even more. However the final shot of the film was unexpected and doubled down on the theme of prejudice that had been shown across the movie. It was a strong and shocking conclusion to a movie that I had not enjoyed that much.

A strong ending can help a movie, but in this case, there is too much wandering for my tastes. Easy Rider lacks some essential points that are important for me and so the movie is a passable one at best.

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