Deuces Wild (2002)
User ReviewsReview this title
The story reminds me of "The Outsiders" and "West Side Story" - which I found to be one of the down sides of the movie, but I still liked it overall.
Stephen Dorff gives a great performance as Leon, the Deuces leader. Supporting actor Mr. Renfro did not impress me however. A couple of the actors from "The Sopranos" play supporting roles. Drea De Matteo looks awesome in this film.
Rating: 7 out of 10.
The stories of these movies are never highly original. We've all seen it before. The only thing movies like this can do is provide the story with a few interesting twists, cool characters and some good looking settings and locations. And, I'm not being too harsh today, Deuces Wild succeeds in doing so. The story takes place in the 1950's. After he lost his brother to an overdose of Heroïne, Leon ( Stephen Dorff ) founds the "Deuces". A steetgang that tries to keep the Brooklyn neighborhood clean. Opposite to this, is the Viper streetgang. Their leader is about to get released from jail and he ( Norman Reedus from Boondock Saints ) wants to take revenge because he thinks Leon framed him. It looks like a war between both gangs can't be avoided even though the true king of the Brooklyn streets, Fritzy ( a small but great role by Matt Dillon ) , strongly warned them not to fight.
Deuces Wild contains a lot of decent actors who never really reached the highest status. You've got the ones I already mentioned, but also known names like Fairuza Balk, Brad Renfro and Deborah Harry. The cast also includes a few upcoming names like James Franco and the annoying ( in my opinion, of course ) Frankie Muniz. They also deliver pretty decent acting jobs but the show gets stolen by the nice and good 50's settings. We're talking old-timers, juke-boxes and lots of hairgel. You're never touched by the story or the characters and that's the biggest disadvantage of this movie. You don't really care who wins or who loses. You never feel involved in the story, but you don't mind watching it. If you ever come across it on TV or at your local videostore...give it a go. It stands for an hour and a half of fun.
Think of it as "West Side Story" getting hit over the head with baseball bats and steel pipes, stickball having left Brooklyn with the Dodgers. "Deuces Wild" has some cool Hollywood sets, 1950s cars and soundtrack songs; and, much of it is nicely photographed by John A. Alonzo. The story and direction never get beyond these strengths, which enables the film to peak during its opening minutes, and proceed downhill. The cast looks good when you read the credits, but translates into an ageing, flabby mess of phony pompadours, blood, and Brylcreem and one fright wig. A sense of sadness and regret permeates the production.
*** Deuces Wild (5/3/02) Scott Kalvert ~ Stephen Dorff, Brad Renfro, Fairuza Balk, Frankie Muniz
Nope. Not even close. Before seeing Deuces Wild, I'd read all the mediocre and bad reviews on here but decided to give it a shot anyway, because I've been pleasantly surprised in the past. But not this time.
The film is weak in every possible way, except perhaps for the setting and art direction. The story is nothing but one cliché after another, with zero originality and very little to hold your interest. The director managed the clever feat of getting horrible performances from excellent actors, although the writers deserve some credit for that also, as the script seems to have been written by a middle school class that was locked in a room with a DVD of West Side Story and a crate of doo-wop albums as their only reference material.
I honestly couldn't even get halfway through it. I have no idea how Scorcese could have attached his name to this project, even as a producer. Did he even read the script?
It's just a really unfortunate movie. If you're an absolute die-hard '50s addict, I suppose you'll find something entertaining in there, but other than that, steer clear. Not worth your time.
I can't believe someone can even mention Fight Club in the same sentence--the same ANYTHING--as this movie. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum cinematically.
Douches Wild is horrid, horrid, horrid--but hilarious to behold.
The whole finished piece ends up almost like a B-movie, there is no doubt that , in some country like Australia most probably , Deuces WIld will never be screened to the cinema. Alright, aside from that , this film still manages to entertain , i mean we have to expect something from the guy who directed the gritty Basketball diaries(1995).
with the usual plot of a rigtheous gang that will stand againts the odds , no doubt cinema geeks have seen this before , i call it a blend of Rumble fish (1984) and the Young and Dangerous series (Hongkong Productions).
Stephen Dorf plays Leon, the righteous gang leader who still cleans the mosaic windows of churches, probably as an act of redemption, Bad kid Brad Renfro plays his younger angry brother, who also acts as the narrator of the story. Somehow Renfro's acting reminds me of his character in Bully(2000) , still grunting around as usual,and looking more and more beefy, this is the tyke who appears in The client(1993), Dorf performance saves himself from being a miscast character, the crew cut really exposes his lack of hair, i guess he is getting old, and damn, he is just too skinny despite the DVD commentary said that he undergoes rigorous weight lifting. Norman Reedus the annoying scuddie from Blade 2 plays Marco Vendetti the villain, well it seems that he have to be supported with a shiv and non-stop utterings of profanity to be a real bad ass, almost a bad job.
Not really a crucial role here, but James Franco as one of the uber deuces looks like a reincarnation of the original Rebel without a cause fella...have to see to be believed.
None of the female characters in here seems to be presented as at least a decent accountable character; One alcoholic mother, one nuts mother, a girlfriend only acts as "the-chick-of -the-badass" played by Madonna look alike Drea De Mateo, and yeah....talking about the most mismatched coupling, A teenage Renfro with close to thirty-ish Fairuza Balk.
SInce the budget seems to be constrained, audience with keen sense of frame could possibly tell that most of the scenes was shot in a backlot set.
In a film like this violence is expected, however oftenly becomes an annoyance as we see packs of Elvis/Dean haired brutes pulverizing each other for five minutes(which is a long time), some of them wield butterfly or flip knifes, amazingly none of them managed to get stabbed. The bone crunching sound effects also add mild bittery aftertaste.
Folks , like i said, this is an alright film , which manages to entertain if you feel violent because somebody ruin your haircut, however an act of purchasing is highly questionable.
2.5 outta 5 stars.
+2.5 for the entertainment value.
-2.5 for all the Balderdash already seen so many times.
The acting is awesome. Norman Reedus (Prior to the Walking Dead) and Stephen Dorff do an amazing job in their roles. The late Brad Renfro is awesome as well. The other actors are as equal as the others.
For it taking place in the 50s, it honestly does feel like the old times. The fighting scenes are perfect and I wouldn't give this movie anything less than 8 stars.
The movie didn't really do it for me. The "Good Guys" weren't any more good than the "Bad Guys". Very little was shown to suggest that the Deuces really cared for the community. I suppose the writers were going for realism here, but I just didn't care which side won. None of the characters were likable, or even capable of drawing my sympathy.
On the plus side the courtship between Annie and Bobby had some snappy dialog, and the acting overall was well done.
2) The older brother was trying to be sedate and practical, while the younger brother was naive and reactive.
3) They lived with their mothers, who were going mad. Probably pretty close to true.
4) There was no escape from the hood. You were stuck there, and in that environment.
5) The fights were not phony. They really did beat each other up, and the last ones standing were the winners. For once, they make the fights look realistic. It wasn't as though they were great fighters, but they fought until they dropped. It was very realistic.
However, don't expect too much depth in this film. It was just something to watch on a rainy day.
This film depicts the violent confrontation between two rival gangs in the late 1950's. One gang, The Deuces, is a group of tough but good hearted guys, lead by Leon, a goodhearted hero who is (Stephen Dorff, in a phenemonal performance) the toughest of the tough but a good guy and his younger, more impressionable brother Bobby (Brad Renfro, former Teen idol of "Tom and Huck" fame). Their rivals are "The Vipers", a gang of vicious, bloodthirsty bad guys. Their leader, Marco(Norman Reedus), a sadistic, villianous killer, has just gotten out of prison thanks to Leon putting him there, so he swears vengeance on Leon. Marco's mission is to put drugs into the neighborhood that the Deuces run, which Leon is dead set against for personal reasons. This all leads to a violent showdown at the very end in which Marco and Leon go toe to toe. Meanwhile, Bobby has fallen in love with a Viper's younger sister. However, unlike his West Side Story counterpart Tony, he has not forgotten where he comes from or where his loyalties lie. This movie is very rough and vicious and it is quite clear that this is not a movie for the ladies. The performances are top notch, however Stephen Dorff pulls off the best performance. Having seen him play the evil Deacon Frost in "Blade", I was eager to see if he could pull of a role as far from Deacon Frost as possible. And he clearly can. He pulls of his part wonderfully, portraying a good guy who stands up for the innocent. He, and the rest of the cast, pull off good performaces. However, the film itself is a little rough at times, so don't bring the ladies along fellas. A pure guy film all the way.3 out of 4 stars. One star goes for Dorff's acting.
Why do they continue to put little Stephen Dorff in the role of tough guys and bad asses? As great as he was in "Backbeat" he's equally poor in this flick. He just can't get over in the role of the tough guy. No muscle tone and a puppy dog face will do that to you.
Has Matt Dillon ever taken an acting lesson? If he did, who was mentor, Eric Roberts?
I also don't understand the concept of Scooch getting a bike from Marco, then suddenly turning up at the brawl, wanting to fight, and tossing the pipe to Leon. Big plot hole.
Poorly made film. No other way around it. Next time, kill the cheesey Brooklyn accents.
Deuces Wild rocks out!!! this little number has taken our not so gracefully aged Matt Dillon and made him a Godfadda in a neighborhood you would expect to see the Wanderers strolling down instead of these homicidal escapees from a Guys and Dolls Matinée. Throw in a demented script and we are given a world of 1958 which is just as improbable as Streets of Fire with much more action! Made for a new generation this scrappy little number doesn't let you down, fights on the docks, shootings on the stoop and even executions by cinder-blocks it has something for everyone...I guess maybe it could have been animated
It seems that a rite of passage for all young, white, male actors is to play an Italian or Irish street tough from Brooklyn (or Jersey or Boston or Philadelphia or Chicago, or Detroit). Any large industrial city where the actors can get away with putting on a stereotypical accent.
But that's not all that bothers me about this movie. There are the tired, clichéd lines like: "...and the streets of Brooklyn where red with blood" and "If I see you talkin' to him again, you're out in the street. You and your old lady."
Fairuza Balk is the only interesting actor in this film. She has some clichéd lines just like the others, but she also has most of the movie's original ones. I especially liked "...and before that, I crawled out from between my mother's legs. Got any more questions?"
Brad Renfro is a decent actor, but he should stick to what he does best. The misplaced, naive and/or clueless kid like he was in "Ghost World" and "Telling Lies in America."
Steven Dorff is not a good actor, period. In this movie, he comes across as a wannabe actor high school jock trying to play Stanley Kowalski. But at least it wasn't as bad as his portrayal of Candy Darling in "I Shot Andy Warhol". There he came across as a frat boy in drag for the homecoming talent show.
Frankie Muniz is cute, but that's all.
Matt Dillon is tired as his typecast role of the tough guy. He should do the opposite of Brad Renfro and go back to taking risks like he did in "Something About Mary."
I have a fondess for urban, period drama. But the script has to be orginal and the casting should be based on more than just looks.