Biker Boyz

Although it might sound like the title from some gay porn film, Biker Boyz is actually one of the films following in the style The Fast and the Furious. When most people think of biker gangs they automatically think of fat Harley Davidson riding bikers covered in tattoos that spend their time looking like some sort of rejected neo-Nazis and not a bunch of black guys on performance machines.

The story begins with Kid (Derek Luke), a young man who father Tariq (Eriq LaSalle) is a mechanic extraordinaire and friend of the best street racer around Smoke (Laurence Fishburne). Unfortunately, Kid witnesses his father being killed during a race by an out of control flying motorbike. As a result Kid blames Smoke for the death of his father and does the logical thing – train to be the best street racer that there ever was, so that he can beat Smoke and therefore avenging his father (I don’t get it either).

Kid then recruits a complete bunch of misfits to form his racing gang, called the Biker Boyz. With his new gang, Kid starts to take on all comers in his bid to rise to the top of the ‘league’. The races consist of two riders tearing down a street; the winner takes $5000 and the loser’s helmet.

Smoke, who not only has to deal with the upcoming Kid, also has to deal with his long-time nemesis Dogg (Kid Rock). With the Kid snapping at his heels, Smoke must confront him and also his own past.

Biker Boyz is a strange film and one that falls into the bizarre category of being completely different to what the trailer suggests at. The idea actually came from an article in Los Angeles New Times about gangs of motor bikers who met for illegal street races. The real bikers were affluent white collar workers who not only maintained their expensive machines and mechanics but also tended to be in their late 40’s. Unfortunately the intrigue about these guys who spend the weekdays as professionals and the weekends as outlaws (which was of central importance in the article) is completely lost as the film skips over it altogether.

Performances are pretty mundane – even the ever reliable Laurence Fishburne seems to be less dominating and commanding than normal. Derek Luck is just annoying as Kid and doesn’t have the charisma to carry the film. For a character that is supposed to be so angst ridden he doesn’t have too much to worry about – he lives in a nice house in the suburbs and his Mummy thinks that the races are too dangerous – not exactly hardcore gangstas as they believe themselves to be.

Apart from the cast mentioned already, others that pop up during the movie include Orlando Jones (wholly miscast and completely out of place); Meagan Good and Lisa Bonet (purely in there to up the babe factor – at least Bonet still looks fine after all these years); Brendan Fehr and Rick Gonzalez (added to provide much of the laughs); Vanessa Bell Calloway (as Kid’s mother); and Tyson Beckford and Djimon Hounsou (for some reason, dressed in leathers looking like rejects from the infamous gay bar in the Police Academy films – The Blue Oyster).

Even though The Fast and the Furious also had a weak plot, the actual racing aspect is what made that film a success. Biker Boyz doesn’t even manage to do that. The race sequences are laughable from the over-the-top stunts such as bikers jumping onto their handle bars at 120 miles per hour whilst crossing the finish line to the speed-tunnel distortions used to signify speed.

On the whole the trailers for Biker Boyz made the film look a whole lot better than it actually is. The weak direction from Reggie Rock Bythewood, who is normally a screenwriter, doesn’t help the affair at all. This is one for bikers only.

SCORE 3/10