Dirty Deeds review by Tom Blain

I was never a big fan of the high school comedies. Porkys was ok, but I was never a huge fan. In the 80s, there were a number of John Hughes and John Hughes type films that I never really got into (Sixteen Candles, Cant Buy Me Love come immediately to mind). For the most part those movies were a mix of goofy teen-drama and comedy. Even in the 90s there was an awful Jennifer Love Hewitt movie called Cant Hardly Wait [for this movie to end]. Within each decade, however, there are some notable exceptions that gain my approval. American Pie was the most recent and most notable and Fast Times at Ridgemont High is probably the most classic. While Dirty Deeds is probably closer to the those two films than the ones I mentioned earlier it still has a few things holding it back from being a much more enjoyable movie.

The Dirty Deeds are a mythic list of pranks and gags held by the student council president at West Valley High School. Its almost like a fraternity hazing. Each year, (as it is written) a student may take up the challenge of attempting to perform all 10 dirty deeds. So why would someone take up the challenge? Maybe to put their class into the history books? Maybe to impress a girl with low standards? Would you do it to show somebody up? Or maybe just to move the plot forward in a movie and gross out the audience? I lean more towards the latter.

Zack Harper (Milo Ventimiglia) is the I dont give rats ass cool guy at school. He has run-ins with the principal, but isnt exactly a popular guy like the jerky jocks. Zack takes up the dirty deeds when freshman Kyle attempts to take them. Deep down, I think Zack really wants to get in good with Kyles hotty/smarty sister Meg (Lacey Chabert), so he plays the role of knight in shining convertible. Little Kyle wanted to take up the deeds himself in order to show up these jocks at school that beat him up and make him drink urine. How taking up a challenge of pranks will solve the problem of being emasculated on a day-to-day basis by letter-jacket wearing assholes is beyond my comprehension. He even says something to the tune of Its my only way to get back at them, leaving me a bit perturbed.

Our hero then sets out on a quest to complete these 10 tasks in 12 hours or risk not completing the tasks. What follows is an American Pie-esque moments: A big high school kegger is thrown at someones house. A loser hooks up with a hot girl. A baked good is robbed of its innocence (would I lie about something like that?). Someone eats that baked good. And the list goes on and on until the 89-minute mark.

Dirty Deeds does have a few laughs, dont get me wrong. Its also one of those movies thats probably best enjoy with a group of your most obnoxious friends. But there are some flaws as you can imagine. The end of the movie is a bit out of left field and one of those Oh you gotta be kidding me moments where everything falls in place for the main character. I know its part of the formula for this to happen, but I dont think its too much to ask the writers to work within the realm of common sense. On another note, in order to get a PG-13 it seems that the editors had to leave out nudity. This boggles my mind since, there is still quite a bit of sexual content. Thats a bit of a mixed signal if you ask meand here I am left with no can-can visuals. An unrated version is probably on the way. Better luck next time.

Dirty Deeds had a few laughs but the actors/characters were no where near as funny as what you get in American Pie. There is no Stiffler, and no adult character is even close to Eugene Levy. This is more like the opening act or B-movie to your High School-Debauchery film marathon. Better than Not Another Teen Movie, but at the same time it shouldnt be in your starting rotation.




4 out of 10 Jackasses
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