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Deuces Wild

Starring Stephen Dorf, Brad Renfro and Fairuza Balk with Frankie Muniz and Matt Dillon
Screenplay by Paul Kimatian and Christopher Gambale
Directed by Scott Kalvert

IN SHORT: So far the [expletive deleted]in' worst of the [not your father][expletive deleted]in' year. [Rated R for strong violence, language, some drug content and brief sexuality.]

It must have sounded like a great idea. Take the memories of real life 1958 Brooklyn resident Paul Kimatian-- the betrayal of the Dodgers; the gangs ruling the streets to "protect" the locals from encroaching drug pushers; and one hot summer -- and then . . .

gut them with a script filled with every overused gang stereotype that's ever been. That's a lot of 'em, readers, since Bill Shakespeare started the ball rolling with Romeo and Juliet half a millennia ago. Deuces Wild begins with death, ends with death, and fills its remaining minutes with macho posturing, street language, beatings, more macho posturing, what we think is an off-screen rape (it's at least an off-screen beating), even more macho posturing, a major rip-off of a minor mobster, a couple more beatings and that Romeo and Juliet thing.

Starting quickly and confusingly with an overdose death later covered, repeatedly, in flashback, Deuces Wild sets itself apart from other gang films by showing us why the gang called The Deuces was formed. We begin with that OD, of a kid named Allie in his brother Leon's (Stephen Dorf) arms. Three years down the line, Leon's block in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn is still drug free. That may change when the Vipers, led by Marco (Norman Reedus) the man who killed Allie gets out of jail. Marco forms an alliance with mobster Fritzy Zennetti (Matt Dillon) and we're almost off to the races. Leon's brother Bobby (Brad Renfro) has a burning need to prove himself and his leadership abilities by taking the Deuces into battle when Leon doesn't -- Leon's busy in the sack with his girl (Drea Matteo) Not only that, Bobby feels his hairs twitching when he lays eyes on Annie (Fairuza Balk), who just happens to be the sister of Viper Jimmy (Balthazar Getty). All of 'em talk a blue rag and there are enough minor punchouts to get the blood flowing before they get down to the final conflict.

And, hey, wouldn't ya know it? There's a kidlet (Frankie Muniz) who wants to be a gang member too!

Director Scott Kalvert goes into production overkill mode in creating his masterpiece. God knows how many slow motion flashback special effect shots we had to sit through; or dropped frame edits; or audio effects which redefine the meaning of echo overkill. All of 'em, plus the relentless regurgitation of gang macho stereotypes pound at the poor viewer who, if you're anything like the professionals in our screening room, will go running for the exits as fast as possible.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Deuces Wild, he would have paid . . .


Rent it if you've got a fixation for the next generation of stars. OW a stinkah.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Scott Kalvert
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