Cast: Gary Busey, Silkk The Shocker, Jeff Speakman
What Texas actor of B film lore,
Has a wild life, never is a bore?
He's a real badass to the core!
Smashed his skull and 'cycle when he was 44!
Ga-ry! Ga-ry Bu-sey! King of the B movie!
- To the tune of Davy Crockett
Recently, I decided it was time to review another movie
with one of my favorite actors, Gary Busey. Though he's a fairly well
actor, he's done a number of unknown movies, so it's always great when
I can combine my interest in unknown movies with seeing him again. This
particular title had him top billed, so that was one promising sign.
promising sign was that it was a PM Entertainment production, and long
time readers will know that I've enjoyed a number of slick action
from PM producers Joseph Merhi and Richard Pepin, like The
Silencers and Executive Target.
Also promising was the presence of B movie martial arts
star Jeff Speakman (Street Knight, The Expert,
Outbreak - entertaining B movies, each of them), and the
of camp value with a number of rappers in the cast, like Silkk The
Master P, and Snoop Dogg. I thought I knew what I was getting with this
movie, though I was surprised by what I got instead. Hot Boyz is
not a terrible movie - it's certainly better than recent PM
like Road Ends and The
Sender - but among the better moments are moments both
confusing and just plain bad. It's actually one of the few movies I've
seen that land right in the middle of "recommended" and "not
The first odd thing to be noticed about that movie is
that while Busey is top billed, he actually has a supporting role here.
Still, this marketing decision shows that Busey is hotter among our
than any rap star, including Silkk The Shocker, who actually has the
role here. He plays Kool, an aspiring rapper in L.A. who is devoted to
studying the martial art of Kenpo from his master (Speakman) and to his
girlfriend Lashawna. Which brings up the second odd thing - despite
in Speakman, an actor with some name value, and giving him third
he's hardly in the movie at all. The closest he gets to martial arts is
teaching a class at his dojo. In fact, his character and Silkk's
arts skills could easily have been written out of the movie with
no consequence to the story. The only thing that can be concluded is
Speakman (who looks like he's gone on the Steven Seagal diet, by the
was cast here only to add another name on the front of the video box.
Back to the story: Life for Kool is okay overall, until
one night Lashawna stumbles across a undercover cop dying from the
his assailant gave him seconds before. Of course, that's the cue for
other cops to come into the scene, make the expected boneheaded
and arrest Lashawna for murder. Kool is determined to free his girl,
he eventually tracks down Tully (Busey), the cop in charge of the case.
Tully actually suspects the killer was either local hoodlum Saint or
of his associates, but he sees an opportunity here. So he makes an
to Kool: Work undercover for us to get the evidence we need to bust
and his operations, and we'll free your girl.
Even though Tully is soon shown to be a sneaky and
cop, I doubt that any cop could get away with getting a civilian to go
undercover in a situation like this. But I don't really mind what the
is to start the plot if the plot does deliver the goods. Although Hot
Boyz has less action than a lot of other PM movies, each
sequence is pleasing enough, though most are not quite up to the usual
PM standard. The movie opens up with a breakneck car chase at the
which is fairly well edited, using slow motion at appropriate moments,
and manages to crack up a number of police cars. But we don't know who
the driver is, and why he's trying to escape - two elements that can
help make a car chase work. It's a good chase, but it's pretty much
Two other chase sequences - one a scramble to the
to get away from the police, and a car chase involving a hearse (!) and
a van - are pretty swift, and each ends with a spectacular stunt shot
slow motion. Each scene, though, is peppered by a number of shots where
the camera wiggles side to side while zoomed close to the action.
director Master P was influenced too much by the directorial style of
music videos he's been in. Anyway, viewers will be momentarily confused
whenever this technique happens, and they prevent these action scenes
reaching their full potential.
If I may return to the story once again, I may point out
the bizarre change of pace it takes at approximately 3/4 of the way
Up until then, it's been a variation of the "undercover cop" premise
we're all familiar with. This rendition has been better than some
but not as good as some others. At this point, the movie runs out of
Now, I am not saying that they drag out what little story is left until
the very end - I'm saying that they completely, totally run out of
Every conflict has been resolved one way or another. Then suddenly, one
of the characters gets a completely different perspective in his mind,
founding a gang and becoming another Scarface after a
of he and his gang shooting different gangs in various nightclubs. Then
the movie becomes a series of betrayals and double-deals, climaxing in
a big shoot-out. Now, the shoot-out (where almost every character left
in the movie gets killed) is pretty cool, with a ton of ammo getting
off. But the 180 degree turn the movie had to do to get to this point
just so out of left field - and what happens between here and the
is lamely predictable - that it's hard to shake a feeling of contempt
The movie's change in its tune is also typical of the
movie's attempt to cram much more stuff than it can properly handle. In
the first part of the movie, there's a reoccurring theme that Kool has
to try and stay true to himself while he's undercover and doing these
activities, but this is abandoned before the movie gets near the end.
aftermath of the hearse chase is completely dismissed by the main
with just a couple of lines of dialogue, despite the fact that the
would have had unavoidable consequences for them if this was happening
in the real world. The movie is filled with other similarly half-baked
ideas and events that by the end of the movie there are a whole mess of
loose ends. That may explain why the ending itself looks suspiciously
it was hastily changed in post-production. Over some offscreen
by one of the characters explaining what happened, we are shown footage
that we've already seen plus what appears to be outtakes. It's just as
cheesy at it sounds.
The actors generally manage to weather the material,
when it gets to its lowest points; however, it says a lot that Busey,
adequate, is clearly phoning in his performance. He's still fun to
but this isn't his finest moment. Sounding more growly than usual, as
he has a sore throat, he's clearly not that enthusiastic, and relies on
his charisma instead. Speakman and C. Thomas Howell are on for such
time, I couldn't really judge their performances. Silkk is competent,
more, in the lead, and so are the other rap performers (like Snoop
in the supporting roles. As acceptable as they are in their roles, at
their performances almost get lost during the bad moments, and when the
movie tries to do too much. A clue for the movie's troubles might be
in the fact that the credits reveal this movie was in fact a
between PM Entertainment and No Limit Films. With both production
specializing in different kinds of action films, there was bound to be
trouble when they made this partnership. This and the movie biting off
more than it can handle just goes to show how apt the saying about too
many cooks spoiling the broth can be sometimes.
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See also: Didn't You Hear,
Executive Target, Lethal Tender