Riders (2002) / Action-Crime
MPAA Rated: R for violence, language, and sexuality
Running Time: 83 min.
Cast: Stephen Dorff, Natasha Henstridge, Bruce Payne, Steven Berkoff, Cle Bennett
Director: Gerard Pires
Screenplay: Mark Ezra, Gerard Pires
Review published April 30, 2002
You'd have thought I would have learned my lesson to stay away from any more "extreme sports" movies after suffering through XXX and Extreme Ops earlier this year. I guess I figured that without an "x" in the title, and directed by Gerard Pires (Taxi), there might actually be a chance for some stylishly clever trash. Looks like only the last word of that sentence is accurate.
Stephen Dorff (Entropy, Blade) plays Slim, the leader of a quartet of next-gen skate punks, who utilize their skills in various activities like rollerblading, rock climbing, and parachuting, to assist in heisting banks and armored cars around the nondescript city. They love the getaway every bit as much as the money itself, but they now that all good things must come to an end, so they concoct a way to pull off the biggest string of robberies in history before they retire. Unfortunately there is an unscrupulously dirty police commissioner out to stop them, and all the while a romance is brewing between Slim and Karen (Henstridge, Ghosts of Mars), one of the lead police detectives on the case.
With such a second-tier cast, a great movie is probably too much to hope for, so expect a b-movie at best. Riders definitely cranks up the music video-style direction, and with the right characters and good writing, perhaps more could have been made of it. Alas, penned by Pires and Mark Ezra (Savage Hearts) it's trite and not very intelligent, serving merely as a backbone to showcase some nifty stunt pieces and a lot of mindless noise pollution. The cast was selected strictly on looks, but they come off looking like a second-rate version of Color Me Badd, and are about as macho.
No need to color this film bad, though. It already is.
©2002 Vince Leo