Playing this Sunday at Cinepocalypse 2017!
Directed by Vicente Amorim
Written by L.G. Bayão, Vicente Amorim, L.G. Tubaldini Jr.
Starring Emílio de Mello, Juliana Lohmann, Guilherme Prates, Carla Salle, Pablo Sanábio
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Set in a post apocalyptic future where the world is a barren landscape and only the rules of the road apply, a group of thrillseeking motorcycle bikers go on a ride past a wall separating the safe zone from a not so safe zone. One of the bikers, Ricardo (Emílio de Mello) is given permission by his brother to ride with his bike gang for the first time after stealing a carburetor from an old man’s junkyard, but come upon a manmade wall of stones blocking their path. Removing the stones, the bikers find an oasis filled with beautiful landscapes and a water filled quarry. But while the bikers are basking in the sun and water, they are oblivious to a gang of black clad bikers heading their way. These faceless road warriors begin stalking the biker gang, killing them one by one. After Ricardo’s friends are knocked off one by one by the silent and deadly black riders, its up to him and the daughter of the old junkyard man to get out of this forbidden territory and away from the riders.
A huge portion of MOTORRAD is without dialog, relying on the action and tension of these road warrings to simply play out. There aren’t any quips. No witty banter. This film has no time for that shit. It simply has motorcycling badasses stalking and killing another bike gang that dares venture into their territory. I appreciate the lack of dialog because it feels more real. While I always appreciate a good script, it’s refreshing to see a film rely on visuals to tell a story as MOTORRAD does. I almost wish the entire film was without dialog, but there are moments where people actually do converse. You won’t miss the wordplay though. This film doesn’t really give you a chance to miss it as it fills every second with the action of the chase.
And what action it is. While chase scenes in films feel overplayed, because of the rough terrain and the intensity of the situation—along with the badassedness of the evil bikers themselves who brandish all sorts of swords and weaponry, the film really does keep the pace moving rapidly for most of its runtime. It never reaches the levels of intensity of FURY ROAD, but on the budget it has, it definitely feels like a second cousin to MAD MAX and ROAD WARRIOR in simply highway viciousness. POV shots on the bikes as well as some pretty amazing stunt work make it all gripping to watch.
But on top of the action, MOTORRAD also gets rather metaphysical as well. The film definitely pulls back and reveals a more cosmic look at the world by the end. This film has an ending that will intrigue some, but infuriate others. Not all I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. And while I don’t know if I got the point the filmmakers try to make at the end, the road there was thrilling enough for me to appreciate the film despite it’s rather obtuse wrapup.
If you’re looking for a pedal to the metal style film that spits dirt in your face and scrapes asphalt along your skin, MOTORRAD is that film. You can appreciate it for the sheer ballsy action and the simplicity of the story, even though the ending leaves some dangling plot threads.