Monday, December 21, 2009

Worst of the Worst: #32, Deuces Wild

We should all write a movie together. We've seen a lot of movies from a lot of different genres. Let's pick one specific genre that we're familiar with, say, Mafia/gang films set in the 1950s. Sure, we've never been in the Mafia or a gang and we weren't alive in the 1950s, but we've seen a lot of those movies. So let's take what we know, all the most cliched parts of any of those movies (from The Outsiders to The Godfather), throw them together in a pile, sort them into a random order, and make a movie. I give you Deuces Wild, #32 in Rotten Tomatoes' list of the worst films of the decade.

There are a lot of problems with the movie. The acting is pretty poor even though there are some decent actors like Matt Dillon, James Franco, and Johnny Knoxville (yep). The action scenes are shot in some sort of weird slow-motion that includes the same shot from multiple angles and out-of-place sound effects. The plot twist, which never pays off, is so guessable that I thought they had already revealed it earlier in the movie than they did.

My biggest complaint, though, is the cliches. Every possible cliche you can think of shows up. In fact, there probably isn't a line in the movie that isn't cliched. The lines are tired, the characters act exactly the way you thought they would. There are even Sopranos side characters (Adriana, Big Pussy, Skip), a staple of bad gang movies. It's so cliched and stilted that it comes off as West Side Story without the music. Every time the gangs go to fight, you expect them to break into song. It certainly would have made the movie more interesting. There's a lot of profanity, all of it seeming gratuitous because of this potential to be a musical or a music video. That potential makes the movie enjoyably bad, to some extent, which is always a plus for this list.

Side note: It's going to be tough to get over the ending of Survivor. It's as if the Patriots had gone 16-0 and then lost the Super Bowl to the Giants, not because New York beat them but because the league felt like the Giants deserved to win just because they showed up. The list of the best strategic players in Survivor history goes like this: Richard, Russell. Period. Which one is better? Richard invented the alliance and how to play the game; he's been as influential on the course of the game as the show itself has been in the course of reality TV. Russell came in after eighteen seasons of liars and alliances and still managed to control the game even as everybody knew what to look out for. Tina beat Colby, Amber beat Rob. The person who wins isn't always remembered as the best player in a given season (or remembered at all). I understand all of this. It still hurts to see Natalie take it down. I'm just hoping that I get to see more Russell on the next season.

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