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13Easy Rider: The Ride Back (2012)

Captain America Cycle from Easy Rider 2

The original Easy Rider is widely considered a watershed moment in cinema history -- the moment the sex, drugs and rock & roll counterculture invaded Hollywood. It hasn’t been the same since. Original writer-director Dennis Hopper never showed any interest in doing a sequel, despite the enduring legacy of

the original (or perhaps because of it). That Hopper died in 2010 makes the taste of this sequel automatically dubious, given that it was literally made over his dead body.

The Ride Back picks up 40 years after Easy Rider, and follows the brother of Peter Fonda’s Captain America as he retraces the Cap’s ride across America, encountering cliché after cliché. That none of the original characters appear in the film also makes the “ride back” portion of the title somewhat moot. The sequel also misses the point of the original: instead of discovering the myth of Americana is just a hollow platitude, the characters here bemoan the evolution of society, and the loss of Americana via countercultural revolution. It’s almost like the filmmakers didn’t even like the original and made this sequel as a rebuttal. It’s the kind of cinematic polemic that falls on deaf ears…which could be why few have heard of this sequel.

The Maltese Falcon in The Black Bird
Next 12 The Black Bird (1975)

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