A/V Room









Biker Boyz (15)

Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Behind the scenes (20 mins); Deleted scenes (17 mins); Photo gallery.

WITH success, comes repetition, particularly when dealing with Hollywood. Having been exposed to the illegal street car racing scene with The Fast and The Furious, we now have a window on the world of the motorcyclists in Biker Boyz.

Less flashy and more character-based than its four-wheel counterpart, Biker Boyz is also less exciting, suffering somewhat from an uneven tone and some equally uneven acting. The fact that it arrives in the slipstream of the tyre smoke left by 2 Fast 2 Furious also compounds the problem.

Derek Luke stars as Kid, an aspiring young racer, struggling to earn the respect of his peers, while also attempting to come to terms with the death of his mechanic father during a freak mid-race accident.

He believes that by taking the crown of race legend, Smoke (Laurence Fishburne), he can derive the recognition he deserves, while also getting one over the man he blames for his father’s demise.

Yet the situation is complicated by the fact that Smoke is struggling to become the father Kid lost, while also making good on his promise to the youngster’s mother, that he will keep the boy away from the street racing scene.

With so much at stake, it seems amazing that Biker Boyz should take such a pedestrian route to its make-or-break finale; yet it pales in comparison to the adenaline-charged 2 Fast 2 Furious.

Director, Reggie Rock Bythewood, sets things in motion by delivering a set piece that feels virtually lifted from the Furious movies (at a race meeting, populated by skimpily-clad beauties and flashy vehicles), before quickly becoming bogged down in the emotional tussle which builds between Kid and Smoke.

And he never really strikes the right balance between the eye candy and the character-building, leaving his talented cast with too much to do.

They, in hand, are ill-served by a hopelessly-cliched script, that fails to generate the necessary emotion needed to make the ending powerful enough, which is a shame, given the quality on show.

Luke, so good in Denzel Washington’s Antwone Fisher, is made to look pretty average here (and fails to be likeable), while Fishburne exudes his usual charisma, but isn’t really given enough to do. The same can be said for Orlando Jones, Eriq La Salle, Djimon Hounsou and Lisa Bonet - all of whom are largely wasted.

Had Biker Boyz gone about its business with a little more verve, its shortcomings may not have been as glaring, yet the lack of va-va-voom makes it a less appealing ride-along than it really ought to have been.

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