It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"Biker Boyz" has an idea, but not an approach. The idea comes from an article in Los Angeles New Times about motorcycle clubs that meet for scheduled but illegal road races. The members are affluent enough to maintain expensive bikes (even mechanics are on the payroll) and polite enough that the movie's language slipped in under the ropes at PG-13.
Many but not all of the boyz are African-American; some are still literally boyz but others are men in their 40s, and the (unexplored) subtext is that these are successful men who enjoy the excitement of street racing. Not much mention is made of jobs, but you can't buy and maintain these machines without a good one.
We meet Smoke (Laurence Fishburne), longtime undefeated champion of street racing, and his mechanic Slick Will (Eriq La Salle). Slick's son is Kid (Derek Luke). Smoke's longtime fierce competitor is Dogg (Kid Rock). Races involve money (bets go to $5,000) and, even more significantly, racing helmets: If you lose, you hand over your helmet to the guy who beat you.
All of this is intriguing material, but the movie doesn't do much with it. There are several races in the film, but they don't generate the kind of pulse-quickening suspense that the races did in "The Fast and the Furious," a four-wheel street-racing picture, did. As a general rule the right people win for the right reasons, and during some of the races the spectators inexplicably cluster at the starting line, so there's time for soul-to-soul conversations at the finish line.