Movie Reviews

Biker Boyz

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Rating: 7 out of 10
Movie Details: View here

Starring:
Laurence Fishburne as Manuel 'Smoke' Galloway
Derek Luke as Kid
Orlando Jones as Soul Train
Djimon Hounsou as Motherland
Lisa Bonet as Queenie
Brendan Fehr as Stuntman
Larenz Tate as Wood
Kid Rock as Dogg
Meagan Good as Tina
Tyson Beckford as Donny
Dion Basco as Flip
Dante Basco as Philly
Kadeem Hardison as T. J.
Terrence Dashon Howard as Chu Chu
Rick Gonzalez as Angel
Melissa De Sousa as Sheila
Vanessa Bell Calloway as Anita
Salli Richardson as Half & Half
Eriq La Salle as Tariq

Summary:
"Biker Boyz" is a decent action movie with a bit of humor, drama, and cool motorcycles tricks.

Story:
Kid and his father work as mechanics for "Smoke", the leader of a bike gang and the "King of Cali". The best racer in California, Smoke is admired and respected by all the other bikers. However, Kid is tired of living under Smoke's shadow. He wants to race on his own, but his father remains loyal to Smoke. When Kid's father is killed in a tragic racing accident, he disappears from the biking scene.

Six months later Kid returns with new friends and new racing skills. He's determined to prove he's the best there is, and Smoke's the only thing standing between him and that goal. He forms his own biker gang called "Biker Boyz" and begins to challenge all the other gang leaders for the title of "King of Cali". But will his own inexperience and the revelation of a shocking secret keep him from reaching his dream?

"Biker Boyz" is rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language.

What Worked:
I've got to admit that I went in expecting "Biker Boyz" to really suck. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised. With some cool motorcycle stunts, an excellent cast, and some dramatic twists and turns, it ended up being a much more entertaining movie than I thought it would be.

Just seeing this film should raise your insurance rates. Some of the stunts they perform in the film are incredibly insane. I had to laugh as I went in the movie because the people in line around me were all local bikers. One was walking with a cane and back brace because of a recent accident. Another guy was talking about a bad accident he saw. When the mother in the movie calls motorcycle accident victims "organ donors", I had to laugh. The audience was living proof of that.

I was impressed by the portrayal of the gangs as being somewhat honorable. While most films portray bikers as scum, the people in this film are generally good people. They rarely fight. They do work in the community. Their members are nurses and lawyers. Nobody carries a gun. They just happen to do illegal racing on the streets. They make it all rather appealing. I don't know if that's a good thing or not, but at least they give kids a good standard to measure up to.

The cast is first rate. Newcomer Derek Luke is excellent as Kid. He's passionate, hard headed, and rebellious. Luke gave the character life and made him believable. Lawrence Fishburne is a few pounds heavier than he was in Matrix, but he still manages to look cool. His inner conflict in dealing with Kid is really portrayed well and his dramatic moments make the final showdown between the two characters all the more exciting. Orlando Jones manages to show off both his funny and serious side as Soul Train. It's always fun to see him in movies. Rick Gonzalez also adds some much-needed comic relief as the loudmouthed Angel. A parade of former TV show stars round out the excellent cast with Eriq La Salle (ER), Lisa Bonet (The Cosby Show), and Kadeem Hardison (A Different World).

While the fast motorcycles and the intense races are fun, the quiet moments between the characters really make this movie work. The interaction between Kid and his mother, Smoke and Kid, and all the other character really make you care for them. When the races start, you have a lot more invested in them.

In the end, "Biker Boyz" is a decent popcorn flick you may want to check out. There's a bit of humor, romance, and action that makes this a fun film.

What Didn't Work:
Though "Biker Boyz" is a decent movie, it does have its fair share of problems. Throughout the film there's one too many slow motion cool shots where the actors do nothing more than try to look bad. Not only is it a little egotistical, but also it's boring. And while a lot of the music was appropriate for the action on screen, it wasn't to my personal tastes. There was a lot of rap and heavy metal, and I'm not really into either. I was also surprised that Kid Rock didn't contribute a song to the soundtrack despite appearing in the film.

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