Deuces Wild [2002]

Take West Side Story, remove the music, add excessive profanity and violence, and you'll get Deuces Wild. It's an overripe melodrama in which rival street gangs--in this case Deuces vs. Vipers in 1958 Brooklyn--inevitably clash in a deadly rumble, preceded by shameless scenery-chewing from nearly everyone involved. Stephen Dorff plays the head Deuce, agonizing over his older brother's drug overdose and leading a cast of rising stars and familiar faces including Brad Renfro as Dorff's hot-tempered kid brother, Norman Reedus as the vicious lead Viper, Fairuza Balk as Renfro's no-nonsense girlfriend, and Matt Dillon (uncredited) as the kingpin who introduces heroin to Dorff's drug-free turf. Balthazar Getty, Frankie Muniz, and James Franco are also in the cast, suggesting that director Scott Kalvert was hoping for an unforgettable ensemble. What he got instead was a stale story crowded with percolating posers, recommended only for those who've never seen the 1979 street-gang classic The Warriors. --Jeff Shannon

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