We gave it a D+
If you put the scripts for ”West Side Story,” ”Mean Streets,” and ”The Warriors” in a blender, you might wind up with something like Deuces Wild, a preposterously melodramatic paean to gang-member teens in Brooklyn circa 1958. Meet tuff-tawkin’ brothers Leon (Stephen Dorff) and Bobby (Brad Renfro), two hotheads who run the local ”Deuce” street gang. They spend their days battling dose doity guys ”da Vipers,” a rival gang out to peddle heroin to the Flatbush Avenue set. Why do drugs bug Leon so much? Because his other brother OD’d, and Leon is haunted by flashback visions of the kid’s demise — discovered, naturally, at the height of a raging thunderstorm.
This is director Scott Kalvert’s first movie since 1995’s ”The Basketball Diaries,” and he seems to have spent the downtime boning up on ham-handed visual exclamation points, most notably a switch to jerky slow motion in fight scene after fight scene. Dorff acquits himself sympathetically, but Renfro’s stoopid act wears thin fast, and some of the cameos — ”The Sopranos”’ ”Big Pussy,” Vincent Pastore, as a priest and Debbie Harry as a mom mad for Christmas music — fall embarrassingly flat. The high-camp apotheosis arrives when tough gal Annie (Fairuza Balk with scary bangs) takes to a rooftop and bellows to the pigeons, ”I gotta get the f— outta Brooklyn!” Like those poor birds, you’ll wonder, How long till I can fly this coop?