In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, the psycho family kidnaps the girlfriend of a biker gang member. The guy isn’t pleased and goes straight into the Hewitt residence looking for her and goes on a shooting rampage. It’s one of the few times when the psycho family is put on the back-foot. Watching that, I thought to myself… man, this guy looks like a real biker, he may even kill some of the vicious cannibals, and I also thought to myself… why does this guy look like the person Jax Teller is supposed to be? It’s a problem I’ve had for years now, especially as Kurt Sutter’s writing deteriorated – Charlie Hunnam isn’t exactly the most convincing badass biker ever, even more evident when he was elevated to the status of President. He looks like a rich kid from the suburbs playing make believe.
I became painfully aware of this again recently when watching Another 48 Hrs (review) and Homefront (review), both of those movies feature biker gangs who look, talk and act like bikers. They kill and maim and are basically wild savages on two wheels, I realised what I was missing in SOA. In Sons of Anarchy the cast just seems to be clean cut and sometimes bend the rules. Everything about them is clean in fact- their clothes don’t appear to be worn by men partying and brawling on the road and their bikes are all shined up real good like they belong to some old man’s club. Real bikers aren’t like that, are they?
The main problem is Kurt Sutter, show creator. When Sons of Anarchy first came about we all expected The Sopranos meets Hells Angels, something to fill the void left by the best TV series ever. Instead of being like the Sopranos though, Sutter has delivered something more akin to the A-Team (I’m not knocking that series, it was good for what it was). There’s a cookie-cutter naivety pasted over this show, there’s a distinct lack of realism and grit, made worse by the weekly farce. By weekly farce, I mean some situation that the gang gets into then comes out the other side due to guaranteed invulnerability. Then, the episode will end with a montage featuring some mellow hippie number, packed full of sentimentality.
No way man, real bikers don’t do washy sentimentality.
That leads me to another thing – no harsh language. “I don’t trust a man who doesn’t curse, not one fuck or shit!”, said the Police Chief in Falling Down (1993). Now they may on occasion say shit, but they don’t fucking swear. This is a big deal, who the fuck takes bikers seriously who don’t even say the word fuck? More to the point, they don’t kill, at least rarely do. A real biker gang should always be concerned about at least one wild dog among the pack, whose barbaric disposition must be put down by the Alpha Male eventually. Remember the Ganz crew from 48 Hrs/Another 48 Hrs? They drunk hard, swore hard and murdered with reckless abandon. They were fucking crazy. If you crossed them in a bar, you’d probably get stiffed.
In a bar, I wouldn’t look at Jax Teller twice.