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:: Biker Boyz

“Burn rubber, not your soul” as head biker honcho Smoke tells his young novice Kid pretty much encompasses the emotional depth that this movie holds. Essentially a reworked somewhat modernised western played out against the backdrop of “Cali” (California), “Biker Boyz” attempts to do to motorcycle street racing what “Fast and the Furious” did for car street racing.

Young motorcycle apprentice-in-training, Kid (played by “Antwone Fisher” star Derek Luke) witnesses the unfortunate accidental death of his father Slick Willie (Eric La Salle). His father’s best mate Smoke (Laurence Fishburne looking bloated and embarrassed, possibly hoping the film would go straight to video) and reigning motorcycle “King of Cali” (actually he’s been the only “King of Cali” ever), leader of the Black Knights crew is devastated and urges young Kid out of the game due to his mother Anita’s desperate plea not to lose her son in the same way she’s lost her husband. However tension between Smoke and Kid arise when kid is refused entry into the prestigious Black Knights cycle club and Smoke has revealed a hidden secret that was pretty much apparent to everyone except the oblivious Kid, who upon hearing this simply replies: “I don’t know.” This propels Kid into the world of illegal biker racing forming his own biker group and vowing to strip Smoke of his “King of Cali” title.

In the final long and drawn out challenge where a pact is made between father and son that if one wins the other quits (never mind the mother who begs and pleads on the sidelines for her son to quit, she soon gets over it) we see the two racing it out in the clear, pure landscape “on somebody’s farm” they tell us, but we think not, this is the western coming to life again, this is the duel between father and son, old and new, weak and strong, until…

The father lets his son win? Completely contradicting everything that’s come before it. Throughout the whole film Kid is constantly hearing that he shouldn’t be racing or else his fate will end up like his fathers (that is father number 1 who dies early on). His mother threatens to throw him out of home, Smoke threatens to outcast him and his group but however his recklessness sure pays off for him, teaching him no lessons and giving him the illusion of victory under false pretences. Hmmm.

A very problematic plot that was apparently “inspired by” or lifted from a New Times article about the new breed of bikers and their loss of respect for the elders. The acting was mediocre at best given the bad and embarrassing dialogue they were forced to utter. Supporting cast Kid Rock, Lisa Bonet, Orlando Jones are so arbitrary that it’s a case of blink and you’ll miss them or wish they weren’t there at all. Of course there is an obligatory romance with Meagan Good as Tina, Kid’s tattoo artist/love interest which is there simply as filler for the weak paper-thin story.

Directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood in his first feature, his unique style certainly suits its subject matter as the stunt sequences are mainly filmed on hand held camera giving the scenes an authentic look and quality. The stunt sequences were possibly the best moments of the film. Recommended for biker enthusiasts only.