Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dirty Deeds (2005)

Dirty Deeds is an absolutely terrible film about a high school that has some tradition called Dirty Deeds, which is a series of tasks that have to be completed the night before Homecoming.  It's something that's not accomplished every year, or even attempted, and apparently anyone can decide to do it. But it's not a competition -  only one person can try it each year.  Like most high school movies, it's full of people in their twenties and thirties. And some of them have pick-up trucks with pointlessly large tires - that means they're assholes and idiots. (By the way, if you have a truck with pointlessly large tires, you're an asshole and an idiot too.)

Anyway, Meg (Lacey Chabert) arrives at school and is told she might be valedictorian (though isn't Homecoming at the beginning of the year?), and her brother Kyle says, "Valedictorian? What does that mean?"  Is he really that stupid, or do the writers of this film believe their viewers are that stupid? Or both?

Well, Kyle and some of his friends painted over the index finger on a poster of the school mascot, so only the middle finger is up.  And everyone is stunned.  Big fucking deal.  Cops actually come to the school, though not about that, but rather to talk to the jocks about keeping people from doing the Dirty Deeds. They seem incredibly concerned that someone might attempt the challenges this year.

Zach (Milo Ventimiglia) is brought to the principal's office regarding the sign's vandalism. Meg tells him to stay away from her brother, Kyle, because she doesn't want him getting into trouble.

This movie starts off so horribly, and then sinks lower with fart jokes. Seriously. Fart jokes.  And awful actors doing even worse dialogue. Because every once in a while the writers want to remind you about the dirty deeds challenge, you know, so you don't forget and think there might actually be a better plot coming. One awful young actor says, "I heard that there's ten of them, and they, like, get harder as you go on." Wow, thanks for that information. A worse actor adds, "I heard one year a freshman lost his ball sack trying to do the deeds."  The deeds are all everyone is talking about, even the goth kids.  There is a mysterious character named Duncan Rime, who did the deeds fifteen years ago and then died or disappeared.

Well, Kyle gets picked on by the jocks, so he decides to stand up to them and volunteers to do the deeds.  Meg complains to Zach about this, telling him to get Kyle out of it. So Zach instead offers to do the deeds.  And that is the plot, such as it is.  The jock has a key to a locker where the cards listing the deeds are kept. How did he get this key? And when did he get this key? If he had it, wouldn't he have looked at the list before? Just one more stupid thing in this insanely insipid film. I can't believe it took two people to write this.

And why would Zach trust that the jock wouldn't write his own more fucked up list of deeds? If that list is so easy to access, why are there only rumors surrounding it?  On top of that, we're introduced to a strange homeless guy. Oooh, will it turn out to be Duncan Rime?  Of course. And if that comes as a surprise to you, check to see how large the tires are on your truck.

Another problem is that although the students seem to have no idea of the specifics of any of the deeds (though this is an event that's been done for decades), all of the adults do. In fact, even the guy who works in the grocery story recognizes the deeds in action. So if he knows what they are, certainly the cops would also. So the cops could stake out one or two of the places easily, and put a stop to it early on.  But that doesn't occur to them.  Because they, like everyone else in this film, are imbeciles.

Deed #9 is to find Duncan Rime. This leads to another problem with the script. Every time someone completes the deeds, he or she adds to the list. So Duncan did all eight deeds, and added the ninth. But there are ten deeds. So whoever added the tenth already found him. So where's the mystery? Or did Duncan add two deeds to the list?

So, anyway, when Zach is given the ninth deed, everyone figures that's the end. Because no one has heard from Duncan Rime in years. A moment later Duncan Rime walks in and announces himself to be Duncan Rime.  He then gives a life lesson to those around him. He says that when he was in high school he was the most popular kid, had a great car, had a beautiful girlfriend.  But then he realized the pointlessness of all of this, of the deeds and so on.  And he asks Zach what he's doing with all this?  So then Zach rips up the tenth deed and tosses the pieces of the card at the jock, as if he's just suddenly had an epiphany.  But he didn't really learn a lesson; Duncan announced the lesson. Zach merely followed what Duncan was telling him to do.

And what's the deal with Duncan anyway? He did the pointless Dirty Deeds challenge, then realized it was pointless, and as a result became homeless?  And for the last couple of decades he's been walking around with this nugget of advice, but not telling it to anyone?

The only way to make the film more annoying is to add a lot of shitty music, so that is just what they do. It must have been a lot of work to dig up such a large number of truly terrible songs.  Every single song in this film is awful.

Special thanks are given in the credits to Tom Glavine, Mike Piazza, Kevin Millar and several other baseball players. Why? Well, Todd Zeile and Jason Giambi are the film's executive producers, so maybe players helped out financially.  I don't know.  But Duncan Rime is played by Todd Zeile. Suffice it to say he was a much better baseball player than he is an actor.

So what's good? Halfway through the film, Charles Durning shows up. He's given stupid shit to do, but his presence is appreciated (as always). And that's it - that's the only good thing in the entire film.

This is the most pointless film I've ever seen. If teenagers are anything like those portrayed in this film, they all should be set on fire.  Dirty Deeds was written by Jon Land and Jonathan Thies. It was directed by David Kendall.  If you get the chance to meet any of them, please punch them in the face for me. Thanks.

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