If today's actors weren't so visibly present in Scott Kalvert's DEUCES
WILD, you'd swear that it was a restored 1950s film, a really awful
and clichéd 1950s film about rival gangs defending their turf.
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Two Brooklyn gangs, the
Deuces and the Vipers, each rule their side of the street. Using
baseball bats and whatever else is handy, they fight anyone foolhardy
enough to cross the invisible demarcation line in the street that
separates their homelands. The Deuces, the nicer of the two gangs,
is led by Leon Anthony (Stephen Dorff). One day, Bobby (Brad Renfro),
Leon's brother and fellow gang member, starts falling in love with
Annie (Fairuza Balk). You guessed it. She's the sister of the leader
of the Vipers. Think a rumble might be in the offing? Think somebody might get hurt?
The gang's first confrontation is stopped by the world's fastest police
car. The second occurs in a park at night. Backlit and with lightning
flashing and thunder rumbling, the boys go after each other with knives
and bats. The scene is so over dramatized that you expect the movie
at any moment to morph into JASON XI.
So what, you ask, are the film's low points and high points? Although
it's tough to identify the movie's worst part, I'd go with the fight
choreography. When someone is slapped or hit, his face inevitably
moves out of the way a full second before the other guy's fist arrives
-- pure amateur hour. The best part is easy to decide on since the
picture has only one good thing going for it -- some gorgeous cars
from the 50s. Forget about fighting over some silly girl. The cars are better looking.
DEUCES WILD runs 1:36. It is rated R for "strong violence, language,
some drug content and brief sexuality" and would be acceptable for most teenagers.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes