Biker Boyz

Bomb Rating: 

This is the kind of movie that's one step removed from an actual idea. That idea was another movie, "The Fast and the Furious," whose box-office success inspired this particular crew of hack filmmakers to say, "Hey, let's make 'Fast and the Furious,' but with racing bikes!" If this movie now manages to make one penny of profit, a new crew of hacks will be along in six months to say, "Hey, let's make 'Biker Boyz,' but with midgets!"

Apparently there's a thriving California subculture of black motorcycle gangs with a taste for Japanese racing bikes. And who in Des Moines is going to know better? However, this is about the sorriest group of "Boyz" you ever saw. The racers spend an inordinate amount of time hugging and saying things like "why can't we just talk?" and "burn rubber, not your soul." Further emasculating the experience is the fact that the whole thing is scored to a soundtrack straight out of Adult Alternative Radio. (You know the format: KWUS 97.3, "the Wuss," with Sweater and Vest in the morning and a playlist full of soulful ballads sung by overly sincere white guys). If I wanted to kick the ass of every street-racing gang in this movie, I'd just have Donahue, Alan Alda and Dr. Phil fit for leather jackets.

Young protégé Kid (Derek Luke) yearns to be a force on the street bike racing scene and before you can say "father killed in tragic street bike racing accident," he's founding his own club, taking unnecessary risks, and having people grab him by his jacket and say things like, "What are you running from, man?" His chief mentor and nemesis is the leader of the Black Knights club, Smoke (Laurence Fishburne), and soon their respective gangs are dancing around each other like the Sharks and the Jets. I would have thought Fishburne's success in "The Matrix" would have bought him the freedom to decline these kinds of roles, but money can't buy you brains, and the shots of him leering at soapy bikini-clad hotties during the bike-washing scene are career-damaging enough to make his agent commit suicide. Also appearing in this film is Lisa Bonet, whose role is so tangential, you just know she's cashing in her last favor. Let's just say that whatever's been ravaging Lisa Bonet appears to be just about done. Sweetie, take Lenny back, because in another couple of years, even that's not going to be an option.

The movie implies that there's going to be hot street-racing action, but some of the stunts, such as bikers doing the splits during a wheelie, are just downright silly. Also, assuming that we might get bored with donor bikes after a while, director Reggie "Rock" Blythewood throws in some Harleys, monster trucks and ATVs just to keep things fresh. ATVs pulling donuts? Wow, if that's not action, I don't know what is! In the end, the only real rubber burned during "Biker Boyz" was off of my sneakers as I sprinted out of the theater.

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