Here, the movie starts at the tail end of a lucrative drug deal. Wyatt (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper) next venture out onto the open road headed for Mardi Gras, then... to who knows where. Theirs is a life of “Freedom” and they, a breed amongst the multitude of others; some portrayed in this flick as being able to live and be at peace with the bikers, while others are stacked against em. Yes, their adventure leads them to meet all sorts of people, though those people are generally extreme if not almost stereotypical in personality. Beyond being philosophical, the journey is also drug laden and is almost as much a drug trip as it is a commentary on a breed of people amongst the backdrop of an (arguably) evolving society.
The acting is good with Fonda’s reflective Wyatt, played with subtle inner turmoil, stealing the show. Only to be eclipsed (at least for a while) by a quirky and crude Nicholson.
To be sure, the movie speaks more to those times then it can translate to today on a relevant and important level; with the exception of its potential as a springboard for discussion on the topic of “what is freedom?”
(**Spoiler alert for both “Easy Rider” and “Vanishing Point” (1971) **)
While its conclusion doesn’t pack the same resonating impact as does a similarly fiery finally as seen in vanishing point...
(**Spoiler alert over**)
... It’s still a good watch at 7/10 on scale.