Bizarre and surreal road movie about a biker and his unlikely sidekick. On a quest to fulfill a friend’s last wish, Joe takes to the desert road on his 1957 Harley-Davidson and meets a succession of odd characters, including Sam. Sam begins following Joe, on a quest of his own, which necessitates staying in Motel 9’s wherever they go. Themes such as friendship, faith, and isolation are brought into sharp relief by strange situations, the lonely road, and the stark emptiness of the desert. There are also several humorous cameos.
Tad Dibbern <[email protected]>
User Reviews: This laid back, low key and off-beat homage to Easy Rider set against the scorched Nevada desert was a treat to watch. John Doe plays Joe, a Harley-loving loner who leaves his factory job and sets out to find "Eldorado", Nevada where he plans to spread the ashes of Dave, an amiable biker he met in a bar and who had the misfortune to be electrocuted while playing a video game.
There’s a lovely sense of the absurd to the proceedings as Joe pours Dave’s ashes into a sky-blue motorcylce gas tank which he straps to the back of his 50’s vintage hog and heads out down the highway. He’s pursued by a Sam, a kid with an obsession with Motel 9’s and a puppy dog determination to ride with Joe and become his friend. If there’s a weak link it’s Adam Horovitz as Sam. The character is underwritten and Horovitz just doesn’t make it work.
But what’s really nice about the film is the whimsical, darkly comic look back in fondness to the spirit of the sixties as embodied in guest appearances by Arlo Guthrie and Timothy Leary. Arlo runs a restaurant (not Alices’!) and Tim drives a tow truck. Great turns by both as they wax philosophical on the mysteries and meaning of life. David Carradine does a cool and hilarious cameo as Othello, a hooka smoking desert guru.
The tone of the film is playful with a nice tongue in cheek sense of humor that is very hip. While the main storyline falters occasionally there’s a nicely crafted and very funny subplot carried on by telephone between Joe and a woman who works in personnel at Joe’s plant.
The star turn of this flawed gem goes to John Cusack who does an astounding and hilarious performance and a poverty activist whose does his bit for the movement by ordering massive amounts of food at restaurants, stuffing his face then doing a classic "dine and dash" routine. He shows up twice and is a treat to watch.
The ending falls a little flat but the climax of the film works just fine as Joe finally finds "Eldorado", a tiny Nevada oasis of neon and casinos where they bet everything on Dave’s dream. An easy film to watch and enjoy for those who were there.