Biker Boyz Review
By Shawn McKenzie 02/01/2003
If you saw the trailers for this movie, you were probably thinking, ďIsnít this The Fast and the Furious with motorcycles?Ē WellÖyes, it is, but it does differ in a few ways.
Manuel ďSmokeĒ Galloway (Laurence Fishburne), the President of the Black Knights motorcycle club, is the undefeated champion in the underground world of off-track motorcycle racing. Other heads of rival motorcycle clubs have challenged him, like Dogg (Kid Rock) of The Strays, but they have always lost. This status in their world labels him ďThe King of Cali.Ē His mechanic, Slick Will (Eric LaSalle), and other members of the Black Knights, such as Soul Train (Orlando Jones), help him maintain his crown. One of the clubís young prodigies (called ďProspectsĒ) named Kid (Derek Luke), the 18-year-old son of Will, wants to be a full-fledged member. One night, during a motorcycle race between Smoke and his latest challenger, a freak accident occurs and Will is killed. Kid blames Smoke for Willís death, and six months after his father's death, he wants to take on the Black Knight leader. He wonít race him until he joins a club and wins enough races to build a reputation for himself (plus he sort of goes into semi-retirement because of the pain he felt from Willís death.) He decides to form his own club, called the Biker Boyz, with his friend Stuntman (Brendan Fehr), a guy he does hustles with, and their new friend, Primo (Rick Gonzalez.) Their main goal is to win enough races so that Kid can eventually challenge Smoke. Smoke and other leaders, such as Motherland (Djimon Hounsou), accept the new club. Kid's mom, Anita (Vanessa Bell Calloway), is not too crazy about that her sonís racing, since it is what killed her husband. Kid starts seeing tattoo artist Tina (Meagan Good), who he moves in with after a while. Smoke starts seeing his ex-girlfriend, Queenie (Lisa Bonet), at the same time. All of this builds up to the final race between Kid and Smoke.
So, how does this movie differ from The Fast and the Furious? Aside from the speeding angle (and Kidís occasional hustling), there is no criminal activities going on in these clubs, so there is no undercover cop infiltrating the motorcycle clubs. In fact, the clubs actually go to great strides to improve the community. There is a scene where they do a bikini bike wash in order to raise money for new textbooks for the local school. A fellow moviegoer admired the fact that the rival clubs worked out their differences with races rather than resort to violence.
Okay, itís not a carbon copy of The Fast and the Furious, but is it any good? It was all right, but honestly, I donít think I would have paid to see it if I hadnít seen it for free. Donít get me wrong; the performances and bike tricks were fine, but maybe Iím not a huge motorcycle fan. Fishburne is essentially channeling his Furious Styles character from Boyz N the Hood here (he just canít get away from those Boyz, huh?) Iíve noticed that Kid Rock is starting a rough biker stereotype in his two performances (the other one being in the movie Joe Dirt.) Iíve heard that Luke gave a better performance in Antwone Fisher (a movie I have unfortunately not seen yet), but I donít think this movie will hamper what looks like a promising career.
While Biker Boyz isnít a complete rip-off of The Fast and the Furious, it isnít the most original or exciting movie. I would wait for this one to come on DVD. Now, if you really like bikesÖthatís a different story.
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