The Motorcycle Diaries "Shoot, coward. You're only going to kill a man." In the opening scenes of The Motorcycle Diaries , there's little trace of the rebel who… The Motorcycle Diaries "Shoot, coward. You're only going to kill a man." In the opening scenes of The Motorcycle Diaries , there's little trace of the rebel who…
DVD Review

The Motorcycle Diaries (2005)

Gael García Bernal, The Motorcycle Diaries | CHE'S LOUNGE ''Diaries''' DVD extras largely focus on Bernal's performance
CHE'S LOUNGE ''Diaries''' DVD extras largely focus on Bernal's performance
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Feb 15, 2005; DVD Release Date: Feb 15, 2005; Movie Rated: R; Genres: Biography, Drama; With: Rodrigo De La Serna and Gael García Bernal; Distributor: Focus Features; More

''Shoot, coward. You're only going to kill a man.'' In the opening scenes of The Motorcycle Diaries, there's little trace of the rebel who reputedly said those defiant last words to his Bolivian executioner. In 1952, young med student Ernesto ''Che'' Guevara (Gael García Bernal) still believes a puppy can help him win a woman's love. But middle-class naïveté gives way to world-weary fortitude when Ernesto — equal parts Tom Joad and Huck Finn — witnesses hardship and injustice along an eight-month, 8,000-mile journey on a dilapidated motorcycle. The film starts slow, but Bernal's charisma illuminates the defining moment when Ernesto's idealism and Che's outrage merged.

EXTRAS In an interview, Che's travel companion, Alberto (played in the film by an impish Rodrigo de la Serna), now in his 80s, shares his affection for his decrepit Norton 500 motorcycle, despite the 50 or so spills he endured on it. His reflections are especially welcome, as the other features skimp on historical perspective in favor of glorifying Bernal's performance. The moral: Better to play a martyr than to be one.

Originally posted Feb 14, 2005 Published in issue #807 Feb 18, 2005 Order article reprints