Biker Boyz (2003) / Action-Drama
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language
Running Time: 110 min.
Cast: Derek Luke, Laurence Fishburne, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Kid Rock, Orlando Jones
Director: Reggie Rock Bythewood
Screenplay: Craig Fernandez, Reggie Rock Bythewood
Review published February 1, 2003
Biker Boyzis an attempt to capitalize on the success of The Fast and the Furious, and in trying to copycat what is already a bad movie, they've already sealed their dismal fate as far as quality goes. However, I suppose I should feel grateful that they made the movie so bad, that I actually came away entertained laughing at how unintentionally humorous it is.
Laurence Fishburne plays Manuel Galloway, dubbed the "King of Cali" for street bike racing. Derek Luke is Jalil, the up-and-coming hotshot who wants the title for himself. Tragedy strikes when Jalil's father, who happens to be Galloway's mechanic, is killed when a bike flies into him during a race. Jalil isn't content to be another newbie, so he starts his own biking club, calling itself the "Biker Boyz". Now Jalil's mother wants an end to the dangerous sport, which doesn't sit well with the vaunted helmet of the "King" just within his grasp.
With a name as bad as Biker Boyz, you'd kinda figure they put about as much thought into the script as they did the title, and you'd be right. There's only one thing going for the film, and that's the flashy direction by Bythewood, who crafts little more than a two hour music video featuring street racing. In between the action is a ridiculous coming-of-age story, and lots of very bad drama, taking what should have been a niche film into absurd depths of bad moviemaking.
What's more amazing than getting some impressive talent to sign on for the film is how out of place that talent is. Of the entire cast, only Fishburne doesn't seem completely out of place, with comic actor Orlando Jones and clean-cut Larenz Tate not being able to pass the giggle-test whenever you see them trying to act like bad-asses. Alas, the material is unworthy of a man of Fishburne's talent, and it would be a sad day if he chose to do this film because of a lack of offers out there.
Biker Boyz is completely inept on just about every level there is. It's a silly excursion into a world of street racers that makes what they do look cartoonish and laughable, such that even those involved in the sport itself will find it too painful to watch. If you just gotta see some street bike action, your best bet is to keep that thumb on the fast forward button of your remote, because dialogue this bad needs to be avoided at all costs, unless it's just for the humor value. MST3k, where are you?
©2003 Vince Leo