A motorcycle gang taking over a small town sounds like something you’d see in a drive-in theater around 1973. In that respect, you could call Disturbing the Peace a throwback. Guy Pearce plays Jim Dillon, and with a name like that, you’d better be a Texas marshal haunted by your past. When a motorcycle gang commandeers his town to hijack a vehicle filled with cash, Dillon is given a chance to reckon with his past and redeem himself.
“…a fine excuse to wreak some ultra-violent, whack-a-mole mayhem between the law and a posse of cutthroat bikers.”
It’s a thin, familiar set-up, but it’s a fine excuse to wreak some ultra-violent, whack-a-mole mayhem between the law and a posse of cutthroat bikers. To steal from the poster for The Wild Angels, their God is hate! Where the movie disappoints is that when the guns start a-blazin’ and the expletives start a-flyin,’ it’s not nearly as fun as it should be. It feels perfunctory like the movie was a homework assignment, done quickly and reluctantly. That’s no way to approach a good ol’ fashioned shoot-out.
The movie handcuffs itself with its dedication to realism. A story like this should be wild, not plausible. When the villain speaks, he sounds as boring and empty-headed as an actual criminal might. You’re begging him to chew some scenery and go off-road into some crazy monologue about the freedom of the biker lifestyle—spittle flying and forehead veins bulging—but there’s no such thing. Everyone’s playing it straight.
"…Guy Pearce plays Jim Dillon, and with a name like that, you’d better be a Texas marshal haunted by your past."