Let me be the first to say that I don't know shit about motorcycles. Hell, I don't know shit about most vehicles. That being said, there's always been something about the rumble of a wheeled machine that's fascinated me. While, I myself, have never been on the ole' metal horse, I can recall the time my dad hopped on his buddy's cycle and immediately ran it into a neighboring home. Since then I've found myself appreciating motorcycles and the like from afar. As my mother would say, its just safer. So, in a round about way, motorcycles are the reason why I was more of an indoor kid. Perhaps that's what led to my obsession with film.
While I have seen many of the classic motor movies, I must admit that I have still yet to see Easy Rider. I know, I know... I just slapped my wrist too. Now that I've got that out of the way, I have seen Vanishing Point. And while VP is one of my favorite films of all time, I can easily say that Road to Paloma is extremely modeled after the VP formula. A man is chased by the FBI from Point A to Point B. I know that sounds stupid, but when you add a bluesy soundtrack, some beautiful sunsets here and there and a cluster of mountains, you've got yourself a pretty solid road adventure.
Like Vanishing Point, there is a bit more to the story though. In Road to Paloma we learn that Wolf's mother was brutally raped and murdered. The police didn't handle the criminal properly and he is quickly released. So, Wolf (Jason Momoa) did what any good son would do, he tracks the guy down and kills him. Of course this time johnny law wants in on the action, and the FBI is now pursuing Wolf. Obviously he wants to avoid incarceration, but his main focus is delivering his Mother's ashes to her final resting place. Along the way he meets a couple folks every so often, but none are as entertaining as Cash.
Cash, a drunk musician, meets up with Wolf outside of a bar. At first things are a touch and go, but an unlikely friendship blossoms as they ride towards the Teton mountain range together. Cash keeps things fresh and balanced with off colored jokes scattered throughout the feature. Wolf is more of the quiet type. He doesn't say much, but when he does you should listen. They're a pretty good balance. Although the lack of profound dialogue holds back a handful of scenes, the backdrop and shots of Momoa's hair blowing in the wind more than help make up for the few flaws.
My hat goes off to Momoa though. He isn't just the star of this one, he also writes and directs. While he may not be the best writer, he certainly has some directing chops. His communication between characters is choppy at times, but the beautiful landscape and the Magua sighting help me forget the shortcomings of this modernized Western.
Again, I haven't seen Easy Rider, but I have seen Hell Ride. And from what I can remember, Paloma is leaps beyond what Larry Bishop was attempting to create with that mess. While Palmoa lacks the star power that the Tarantino name came bring, Paloma is more of a post-modern homage than that film ever could be. So if you're looking for a more recent motorcycle flick with decent dialogue, some familiar faces, and fairly good cinematography then Momoa has you covered. Road to Paloma is now available on iTunes and it will also be available for purchase on both DVD and Blu-ray at most major retailers.