Directed by Detdrich McClurevideo96
Epiphany Pictures (2003)
90 minutes


by Tammy Wanchena and Kevin Kocur

Tammy Sez: I down my fifth Mojito as the credits begin to roll. For the past seemingly several hours I thought I had been watching “Easy Rider”. Only to find out this movie was titled “Road Kings”. Makes sense as I seem to recall I enjoyed “Easy Rider”. This movie demanded heavy consumptions of alcohol to make it remotely tolerable.

Was the rum to blame for my confusion? I think not. Take “Easy Rider’s” Billy and Wyatt; two young, drug induced hippies, and replace them with “Road King’s” Panther and Baby Ray; two young, ebonics spouting, drug induced hellified gangstas. Take away their Harley Panheads and replace them with a couple old Sukuki GSXRs. Rather than making New Orleans their destination, let’s send them to Washington, D.C. Give them a college boy hitchhiker to pick up. Allow them to bond with college boy while smoking the “chronic” in a cemetery before some hillbilly rednecks kill the poor kid…. We are well on our way to copyright infringement! Can you guess how the film ends?

Many valuable lessons are learned from the road. Don’t hook up with slutty white girls, for they may rob you blind. Stick with the sweet soul sistas. Be sure your hitchhiker has a video camera so he can film your sexcapades; at least until his untimely, inevitable death. Always heed any warning coming from a blind voodoo priest. Of course we are reminded of the ever-popular “Fear ‘the man’”. And Washington, D.C. is no safer than da hood (must have been on orange alert). This is the wisdom fortune cookies are made of! While it is highly unlikely that Road Kings will inspire anyone to leave their lives of poverty and crime behind to seek a better world, it definitely inspired us to turn off the television, sober up and go to bed.

Kevin Sez: Lissen up. Here’s the story: me and my homegirl, Tammy, had planned to watch something else. But when she seen this at the video store she couldn’t pass it up . Awright then, may as well make the best of the situation by opening a couple o’ forties and chillin’ on the couch.

OK, it was really more like drinking red wine and mojitos, but the basement was kinda chilly and we were sitting on a couch. And, to be frank, I’m not really certain that I’m the target audience for this movie. I’m not a fan of the gangsta lifestyle, I’ve never lived in L.A., and none of my friends have been gunned down in front of me.

So, let’s rerun the 411. Ray and Panther are sick of life in the ‘hood. They decide to ride their GSXR-1100’s to Washington, DC and open a barbershop. At no point during the film do they acknowlege that either of them even knows how to cut hair, let alone possess a cosmetology license. Not to mention that Panther looks a lot like ’80’s one-hit-wonder, Eddie Grant. I was sadly disapointed that he didn’t rock down to Electric Avenue.

Anyway, they take off on the bikes. After doing a less-then-impressive burnout on a dirt road, it takes the Gixxer gangstas about two thirds of the film just to get out of Southern California. Along the way, they find a black teen hitchhiking his way back to NYU. They take pity on the lad and offer him a ride. All throughout the film they run into trouble. It would appear that every small town in America is full of racist rednecks. The fact that the boys always seem to have an attitude problem isn’t helping things, either. But they do hook up with a couple of skanks, so life’s not all bad.

In one scene, the boys stop at a cafe and the short order cook proudly tells them about his finest creation: an omelet he calls “the chronic,” which contains ”special” oregano. What makes the scene funny is that the cook is obviously clueless as to the omelet’s true contents. All he knows is that it’s very popular.

At one point, they get into a fight with some locals and college boy gets clubbed across the noggin’ with a two-by-four. I find it a little funny that he is the only one in the movie wearing a helmet, yet he suffers a severe head injury. Perhaps one of the writers is a disgruntled former employee of the Snell Foundation? The three finally get away, but it’s obvious that college boy is circling the drain. With his dying breath, he channels Jack Nicholson and tells the boys that they must continue their journey.

After more altercations along the way, the boys finally arrive in DC. Ray wants to start doing crime again, but Panther tells him to keep it real and stick to the plan. And no more white hos. More altercations ensue. I guess the moral of the story is that you can take the thug out of the ‘hood, but you can’t take the ‘hood out of the thug.

The only good thing about the movie is that there’s lots of footage of the bikes and riding. Oddly, all of the real cool scenes of America shown throughout the film don’t feature any shots of the bikes in them. The soundtrack is probably good if you’re into hip hop and rap. Fans of Steppenwolf best look elsewhere. The soundtrack features music by “Mr. Tan” (I really liked him in “Reservoir Dogs”).

Rated R for pervasive language (read: every other word is the F bomb or the N bomb) some sexual content (read: softcore porn) violence (duh!) and (copious) drug use. No actual Harley Road Kings were used in the making of this film.


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