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A mythic motorcycle tale of father and son", this is the story of Manuel Galloway, also known as "the King of Cali", the president of a motorcycle club whose members are all African-American men, mostly white-collar workers who exchange their suits and ties at night and on weekends for leather outfits and motorcycle helmets. The focus of this story takes place at an annual drag-racing event in Fresno, as Manuel tries to retain his championship title. Written by
Actual motorcycle clubs were on the set to aid with tricks, stunts, and racing. They include Valiant Riders, Black Sabbath, G-Zer Tribe, Ruff Ryders, Soul Brothers, Total Package, Chosen Few, Rare Breed, Brothers of the Sun, Sisters of the Sun, Deuces, and Black Sabbath New Breed. See more »
Cameras and related equipment frequently reflected in helmets and visors. See more »
Clunky dialogue, MTV visuals and average performances rob it of the potential shown by the very occasional good moment
Kid is the son of Tariq aka "Slick Will", engineer to Smoke, who is the leader of the Black Knights motorcycle group and a legend on the streets. When Tariq is killed in a motorcycle accident, Kid drops off the scene for six months but returns determined to become more than just a prospect. His ultimate aim is to challenge Smoke himself and make his mark by taking down the biggest dog there is but first he must go legit and set up his own motorcycle gang with friends Stuntman and Primo.
Opening with a really nice tracking shot (or series of shots, I'm not sure) this film had my interest early on but very quickly blew it. With an obvious and predictable establishing scene, the narrative arch is established and thus I began my weary trudge from start to finish, through countless music video scenes, unconvincing dialogue scenes and loads of motorcycles. It is very basic stuff and it never aspires to much. The characters are cut out of cardboard and the dialogue is awful, this might cut the mustard if the film was an out and out action film but it isn't. Instead it is supposed to be a character driven film and thus it is a big problem for it to not have characters or convincing dialogue. Sadly it is a mess in regards the writing and plotting and only the forgiving will find the material worth two hours of their time.
The action is pretty weak. I didn't think any of the races were exciting and although they are well done, all of them could have sorely used the emotions of the characters to feed into them. As it is the failure of the plot means that much of the film is lacking and feels rather pointless. Occasionally it hints at depth and humanity but the occasional spark is totally drowned out in a sea of noise. The music video goals of the film are met but personally I'm glad not to be in the demographic sector that is tricked into thinking that this makes for a good film.
The cast are mixed, containing people that I expected better from and people that deserve stuff like this. Fishburne may well have expected more from the film because at times you can see him reaching, sadly he cannot achieve the impossible and any glimmer of a good performance is swamped. Luke struggles from the start. He is pretty and charismatic here but he can't deliver emotion and understanding that isn't in the script and his narration is terrible. The support cast are roundly average with obvious performances from Jones, Hounsou, Fehr and others. Good is sexy but pretty vacant while I'm not sure why Bonet bothered to turn up for so little.
Overall then a fairly pointless film that shrugs off any character potential it may have had in favour of MTV visuals, clunky dialogue and mostly average performances at best. You can see the potential in the story but across several aspects the film fails to deliver this potential and just churns out a totally unnecessary film that doesn't deserve any of your time.
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