Dennis Hopper directs Peter Fonda, himself and Jack Nicholson in this seminal road movie about two hippie bikers struggling to find a place to stop in sixties America.
One of those “classics” that bored me to tears on previous attempts… I warmed to it just a little bit more on this try. It is still pretentious, grubby and often wearyingly dull. The best bits are the filler moments when the boys are just riding on their choppers, through the landscape, through an evocative soundtrack of Jimi, The Band and… yes… Steppenwolf. And you have Jack Nicholson wander in for twenty minutes and completely steal the show. He’s brilliant. He’s always brilliant. Dennis Hopper is good value too as the twitching in the background, always uncomfortable Number Two. But Fonda’s lead is a blank presence and the far-out commune and drug sequences feel more alienating these days than the didactic violent conservatism Captain America and Billy face whenever they reach ‘civilisation’.