Length: 110 Minutes
Rating: PG-13 for violence, sexual content, and language.
Theatrical Release: January 31, 2003
Directed by: Reggie Rock Blythewood
Written by: Craig Fernandez & Reggie Rock Blythewood.
Laurence Fishburne - Smoke
Derek Luke - Kid
Orlando Jones - Soul Train
Djimon Hounsou - Motherland
Lisa Bonet - Queenie
Larenz Tate - Wood
Survival of the fastest.
May 18, 2003
Grade: B- (Fresh)
Oh, I can hear from here. "Bill, what the hell are you doing watching this garbage?" In all honesty, friends, I have no idea. Perhaps it was because the movie had that "it's so bad, it's good" appeal. Or perhaps I just had nothing better to do with my time. Or maybe it was both of those. Yes! And who can resist a movie with Kid Rock acting like a badass?
The film stars Laurence Fishburne as Smoke, a legendary motorcycle racer in the back alleys of California. He leads a gang of blue collar, African-American men who race their bikes on weekends. His son, Jaleel (Luke), wants to be just like him, but Smoke knows that the life he leads is far from a picnic, and does not want his son following in his footsteps.
Based on the trailers that I had seen for this, I did not anticipate much of story. Given, the film is far more concerned with kickass races than an honest, heartfelt story. But, I am going to give Biker Boyz and break and at least credit them with trying on the story. The main problem is that it is very, very hard to take the story seriously. The transition between a loud, frantic motorcycle race to a dramatic moment is a tough one, and the film cannot pull it off at all. There are a few good shots at sentimentality, but it either draws unintentional laughs or is in a big rush to get to the next race.
About those races; they are impressive. Director Reggie Blythewood and his editors have done a heck of a job of putting together some very exciting races. These really hold the film together, and even though the story is pretty rough at times, these race scenes make up for it. Obviously inspired on all fronts by The Fast & The Furious, the filmmakers put you right at the front wheel during the races. They are loud, fast, and a lot of fun.
Oh, and how could I forget our good friend Kid Rock? While I respect the guy as a showman, his acting skills leave a lot to be desired. In fact, he is the main draw for unintentional laughs. Take a gander at the picture above and you will see what I mean. But hey, maybe it will lead to bigger and better things...or something.
All in all, this is enjoyable on about the same scale as The Fast & The Furious. Think of it as that film with motorcycles. Biker Boyz sure could have been a lot worse, but check your brain at the door, crank the sound, and listen to "Bawitdaba" afterwords. You'll thank me.
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