Despite the slick and grim tone of “Deuce’s Wild,” Scott Kalvert’s attempt at a gangster picture is the worst film of 2002. And it’s likely one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. We get a nonsensical, clichéd movie with a contrived plot and go-nowhere characters, all of whom are nothing but comical walking clichés with writers Paul Kimatian, and Christopher Gambale showing zero restraint in predictability. How do you waste such a dynamic cast on such a putrid waste of film?
In Brooklyn 1958 an all out gang war ensued and the Deuce’s were a tough group of guys. When a leader of the gang dies years earlier, his rival is jailed. Years later (1958), he is out and is ready to take vengeance upon two brothers Leon and Bobby leaders of the Deuces. But they won’t go down without a fight. They’re ready to protect their territory which is a side of a street. Seriously. You have to wonder if Kalvert approached “Deuce’s Wild” with an honest effort, as it manages to play out more like a spoof of these gangster pictures more than a crime drama. Kalvert almost wants to carve out his version of “The Outsiders” and fails so miserably, it’s embarrassing. The performances all around are unwatchable, with miscast roles and a terribly botched love story between Fairuza Balk and Brad Renfro. Kalvert once again submits the audience to a contrived “Romeo & Juliet” tale that’s desperately forced.
There’s also a major waste of talent including Matt Dillon who barely does anything except scowl, Vincent Pastore who plays the neighborhood priest, father Aldo who urges the two brothers not to adhere to the temptations of war. His role is just a terrible variation of Robert DeNiro’s role in “Sleepers” except Pastore is barely featured throughout the entire movie. To make things worse, Frankie Muniz is unbearable as the gang member’s lovable scamp Scooch, the wannabe gang member who hangs around the “Deuces” panting and kissing up to them. Director Kalvert doles out shameless cliché upon cliché, with horrific characterization that border on stereotypes, and poorly choreographed fights between rival gangs that are supposed to act as a dramatic clothesline, but just bog down the movie. “Deuce’s Wild” is an unwatchable waste of time, money, and prime acting talent, and easily the worst film of 2002.