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Deuces Wild
2002 - R - 97 Mins.
Director: Scott Kalvert
Producer: Scott Valentine
Written By: Paul Kimatian and Christopher Gambale
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Brad Renfro, Fairuza Balk, Frankie Muniz
Review by: Joe Rickey
“Coming of age” has always been a popular topic in the entertainment business. From classic novels like The Outsiders to films such as The Cider House Rules, the theme of someone growing up is very prevalent in today’s entertainment world. And why not? Growing up can be a very adventurous time in one’s life, which can make for a intriguing storyline in film and other forms of media. Just look at the successful television show The Wonder Years. That was a show that was all about a young kid growing up to become a mature adult. Now another film about one coming of age hits the marketplace in the film Deuces Wild. The film also so happens to bear a passing resemblance to The Outsiders.

An inner-city war breaks out in a down and dirty New York City neighborhood when the Deuces, a local gang make an attempt to rid the neighborhood of drug pushers so their neighborhood stays drug free.

Deuces Wild stars a cast of middle of the road actors in terms of popularity. The cast includes Stephen Dorff, Brad Renfro, Fairuza Balk, Frankie Muniz and Matt Dillon. Dorff and Muniz would probably be considered the biggest stars in the film because Renfro, Balk and Dillon have not done any film worthwhile for a while now. Muniz and Dorff recently appeared in Blade 2 and Big Fat Liar. Both films were big box office successes with grosses of nearly 78 million and 47 million dollars respectively. These two rather popular actors perform admirably in their roles, as does the rest of the large cast.

The director of Deuces Wild is Scott Kalvert. He is known for the controversial film The Basketball Diaries. That film faced much heat for its portrayal of teen violence, especially the dream sequence of DiCaprio walking into his high school and blowing people away. Deuces Wild also features scenes of violence among people of the younger generation. It’s not likely to face much, if any controversy though because of its switched time period to the 1950’s. Aside from the issues surrounding his past film, Kalvert does a good job directing the large ensemble cast. He stages the various fight scenes well and plays them for maximum visceral impact. He stumbles a little during the more serious scenes of discussion though. He can’t all be blamed for that though. Paul Kimatian’s and Christopher Gambale’s script is quite full of clichés. The script does, despite the many clichés, setup and portray the many gang fights that arise after rising tension among warring factions. Also worth mentioning is the sumptuous cinematography by John Alonzo. He milks the naturally visually interesting 50’s era New York locale for all its worth.

Overall, Deuces Wild is a visceral action film that features thrilling fights and other such action sequences that succeeds because of those reasons despite the cliché-ridden script.

Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

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