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Deuces Wild

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Deuces Wild

Starring: Matt Dillon, Fairuza Balk
Director: Scott Kalvert
Rated: R
RunTime: 96 Minutes
Release Date: May 2002
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Brad Renfro, Norman Reedus, Drea de Matteo, Vincent Pastore, Johnny Knoxville, Frankie Muniz, Balthazar Getty, Deborah Harry, Stephen Dorff

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

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

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