In the 1960s-set drama, the Golden Globe winner stars as Benny, a strong but silent member of local Chicago motorcycle club the Vandals who must choose whether his allegiances lie with his wife Kathy (Jodie Comer) or the club's founder Johnny (Tom Hardy).
There's a whole lot riding on his decision. After all, the trailer opens with Johnny seemingly floating the idea of Benny taking over the club while the pair share contemplative evening smokes by their respective choppers. "I've been thinking," Johnny remarks. "I can't run this club forever."
Kathy, meanwhile, regales photographer and interviewer Danny (Mike Faist) with her tales of falling in love with Benny at first sight amid the "golden age of bike riders" in the local Chicago area. "I thought I could change him, you know?" she says. "Not to be different, but to be… I don't know, like, he's wild!"
That he is. The clip then cuts to a scene in which Benny is brutally beaten with a barstool for refusing to take off his biker jacket. When the club finds out, Johnny seems to make the call to burn the place to the ground.
As the club gets bigger, so do its problems — illicit activities like running drugs, gambling, and prostitution eclipse its original premise. This leads not only to Benny ending up in the hospital, but also a confrontation between Johnny and Benny, with the latter asking, "Is that what this club is now?"
20th Century Studios Austin Butler in 'The Bikeriders'
The film, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival this past weekend, also stars Michael Shannon, Boyd Holbrook, and Norman Reedus. In EW's review, Maureen Lee Lenker praised the film's "estimable ensemble" and called it "a scrapbook bursting with intriguing characters and beautiful imagery."
"They bring to life the antics and erratic violence of their characters with great authenticity," she wrote, noting that Hardy "looks every bit the gang leader with his hulking frame and pugilist pout" while Butler instills his character with "a mercurial, chaotic energy that threatens to run the proceedings of the Vandals off the road at any moment."
The Bikeriders blazes into theaters on Dec. 1. Watch the trailer above.
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