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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.86%
Worth A Look: 17.86%
Average: 3.57%
Pretty Bad: 28.57%
Total Crap32.14%

2 reviews, 16 user ratings

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Knockaround Guys
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"Bored Guns Should Have Remained Holstered"
1 stars

Weíve had Young Guns and even younger guns in Alan Parkerís joyful kiddie mob musical, Bugsy Malone. The last time we had young hunks in the mafia, we were forced to watch 1991ís Mobsters with Christian Slater, Patrick Dempsey and Richard Grieco. Pray we never have to go through that again. Oh sorry, too late. The studio tried to keep Knockaround Guys from us, but even after 18 months of delays, you have to try and get a little cash back by dumping the film and hoping for a good ten million dollar lottery at the box office. My advice: Donít bother contributing to the hardluck fund.

Our hunks of the moment consists of two Saving Private Ryan vets (Barry Pepper & Vin Diesel), a guest star on The Sopranos at about the time this film was supposed to come out (Andrew Davoli) and the hilarious Seth Green who gets wasted in all kinds of ways. The rule with films like this is to counterweight the young, maybe unknown factor with accomplished and recognizable actors. So here we get Dennis Hopper, Tom Noonan and John Malkovich. Load the seesaw any which way, it still goes nowhere if you donít have something to balance it on.

Pepper (so good as Roger Maris in 61*) is Matty Demaret, son to mob boss Benny ďChainsĒ (Hopper), exposed to the family business at a very young age when Uncle Teddy (Malkovich) discovered he didnít have the stones for it. Now grown up, Matty has had some troubles getting legit jobs thanks to his name recognition with the Chains gang. (Piece of advice, Matty. Lie on those resumes and interviews.) So he pleas to dear olí dad to give him a shot, which means sooner or later something is going to go wrong.

That something is trusting a money delivery with pilot and former cokehead Johnny Marbles (Green). See, cocaine makes you paranoid and that doesnít help matters when he lands for fuel and spots small-town Sheriff (Noonan) mulling about the airport. Handling the encounter rather poorly, the money gets lost and Matty flies in with longtime pals Taylor Reese (Diesel) and Chris Scarpa (Davoli) to recover the funds from the yokels.

The setup is good enough for either a comedy or a modern western. Desperadoes, corrupt law, doublecrosses and showdowns. But writing/directing team Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Rounders) have no idea how to handle the material or where to take it. The execution is lazy enough for a straight-to-cable title and weíre left yawning awaiting for all the principle players to arrive in bumblefuck so we can finally have a shootout.

Everything up until then is a series of uninteresting saw-it-coming-and-in-other-movies twists and some macho bravado that doesnít aspire to the kind of accompanying tough talk that is the least a film like this could provide. Diesel gets to show off his muscles again, has a petty speech before picking on a guy definitely not his own size and smashes up HIS equipment when the loaner doesnít pay him for using them. Is this the act of someone the mob wants on their side?

I canít remember the last time I saw a film where honesty and loyalty were treated as Cancers that leave characters unemployed or shot for their rewards. The one refreshing item this film had going for it was a minor friendship angle about watching each otherís backs, but every time someone elects to do the honorable thing, a coroner may as well be sitting in the room with them.

Knockaround Guysí worst sin is that itís just plain boring. Malkovich gets a couple zingers but the rest of the cast get laughs by just trying to act tough. Thereís nothing particularly suspenseful, the villains arenít villainous enough, the heroes barely do anything and hardly command our attention. If the marketers at New Line were smarter, they would have thrown this on the fire at the end of August, trying to catch a little of that spillover Diesel fuel from XXX, cause this film barely has any smoke. They may act tough, but on this side of the screen, itís easy to knockaround these guys. If youíre awake to do it.

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originally posted: 10/11/02 16:46:15
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User Comments

6/08/04 The More You Know dickaround Sleepytown too long & you're bound to make a snoozer. 1 stars
4/04/04 da hood capped! shot satbbed and whacked! 2 stars
12/01/03 wog without Vin this movie would of sucked 3 stars
9/10/03 ashley best movie ever!! 5 stars
7/12/03 Tiffany The film was awesome...I loved it...but I really loved Andrew Davoli! 5 stars
5/14/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back Mo'Fos!!!) The fuck are you bastards saying?! Full of great actors, from the guys that made Rounders!! 4 stars
3/16/03 Cameron Slick Well acted 4 stars
2/14/03 Andrew Carden What The Heck Was Dennis Hopper Thinking??? 1 stars
11/21/02 Jenny Tullwartz Right watchable offbeat story. Based on a true story? Vin Diesel unexpectedly good. 4 stars
10/31/02 Dark BarÝn Everything's total crap to you all isn't it? 4 stars
10/25/02 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Not up there with the classics like "Reservoir Dogs" and "The Godfather," but still good. 4 stars
10/17/02 amanda coolest movies ever 5 stars
10/14/02 Chancey Sugarpants The highlight of this film, was when the drunk girl in front of me puked on her friends lap 1 stars
10/14/02 Jmmy Jamez crappies 2 stars
10/13/02 Barry Pepper was on Battlefield Earth, but don't hold that against him Great movie. Lame final twists, but very solid acting and cool plot. 5 stars
7/31/01 Robert Vin is the man 5 stars
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  11-Oct-2002 (R)



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