Freestyle Home Entertainment // 2005 // 90 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // February 24th, 2006
How dirty can ten deeds be?
Here's a better question: Who cares?
For no real reason other than the fact that the script calls for him to do so, the class clown of West Valley High decides to step in and save the younger brother of the school's resident brain/cute girl from being humiliated by the school's ruling jocks. How does he do this? By agreeing to perform a series of ten stupid pranks, of course.
Anyone hoping for even the tiniest hint of humor or realistic human behavior would be better off looking elsewhere.
Dirty Deeds comes to us courtesy of Green Diamond Entertainment, a production company headed by several professional baseball players, including Todd Zeile and Jason Giambi. If it achieves nothing else, this movie at least proves that professional athletes actually do earn too much money. (Either that or they need better financial advisers.) I can think of a thousand ways to better utilize the funds that went into the financing of this movie. Building housing for low-income families, for instance. Or maybe donate it to the Make a Wish Foundation. Hell, blowing it on coke and hookers would have been a better idea, and, had someone filmed it for posterity, it certainly would have made a much more entertaining DVD.
This is simply another instance in which the producers think a few bare breasts and a gag about someone humping an inanimate object constitutes a movie. There is absolutely nothing new here, nor is there anything remotely funny or entertaining. The characters, situations, and gags have all been lifted from earlier movies. Five minutes in you know exactly where this thing is headed; there is not one single surprise along the way. This script would have been stale back when Porky's helped usher in an earlier wave of raunchy teen comedies, so you can probably imagine how bad it smells today.
Here's the deal: It's the day before homecoming at West Valley High, and a freshman dork named Kyle (Wes Robinson, Popstar) is tired of being picked on by the jocks (how's that for originality?). Hoping to get in good with the popular kids, Kyle offers to complete the Dirty Deeds, a series of ten pranks/challenges that have only been completed once in the school's history. Meg (Lacey Chabert, Shadow of Fear), Kyle's older sister, doesn't want Kyle to perform the Deeds, so she asks Zach (Milo Ventimiglia, Cursed), the school's resident prankster, to stop Kyle. See, Kyle idolizes Zach, so Meg hopes Kyle will listen to him. Well, Zach agrees to help stop Kyle, but instead of doing something smart like duct taping him to a chair or bonking him over the head and knocking him out, Zach steps in and offers to complete the deeds for Kyle. Why does Zach do this? Because stupid people in stupid movies do stupid things. And because it also allows Zach and Meg to go back and forth about how he's not living up to his potential, or about how she needs to loosen up, which of course means that each will learn that the other really isn't all that bad, which of course means they will hook up before the movie's over (talk about a novel idea).
You might be wondering exactly what some of the Deeds are. Well, you're probably not, but I'm still going to list a few. One involves going into a supermarket, picking up a loaf of bread, humping the loaf of bread, and then putting it back on the shelf (remind you of anything?). As stupid as that in itself is, we also get to see things play out further, as the vice principal who is always harassing Zach purchases the bread and immediately goes home and fixes a sandwich while watching a videotape of Nazi rallies. If you're like me, you might be wondering how the principal fails to notice the hole in his bread. Beats me. I also cannot figure out how Zach manages to hold the slices together while he's making sweet love to the loaf, nor can I figure out why Zach fantasizes about a listless, unattractive topless woman while he's making sweet love to the loaf. Another deed requires Zach to bring back a bra owned by a former homecoming queen. Good thing Zach goes into a hotel bar, where he happens to run into Rachel Buff (Zoe Saldana, Guess Who), a former homecoming queen who has gone on to become a supermodel. Zach naturally ends up with Rachel's bra, but I don't understand how it's possible that Zach doesn't recognize her. Does this school produce so many supermodels that they eventually get lost in the shuffle? (The only model to come out of my high school went on to...nah, I'd better not tell that story.) Yet another Deed involves stealing a corpse and depositing it on school grounds. This leads to a scene in which Zach and one of his buddies are forced to pretend that the corpse is actually a drunk relative they are driving home (sound familiar?). But get this -- all they have to do in order to get into the morgue is jimmy a padlock. That's it! The morgue has no alarm system, nor does it have a watchman. Given that everyone in town knows about the Dirty Deeds, you'd think they'd be a little smarter when it comes to the security of dead bodies, but what do I know? And along those same lines, why are there no parents around? Think about it -- you have a town where football is king, it's homecoming weekend, and a series of illegal stunts are a school tradition. You really think all of the parents are going to cut out at the same time? (Damn it. There I go again, trying to be logical about a patently absurd series of events.) One of the final Deeds involves tracking down Duncan, the only person to ever complete the Deeds. This proves fairly easy, as Duncan is now the town bum. (Duncan is played by Todd Zeile; you'd think the executive producer could supply himself with a better role.) All of the jocks are mean to Duncan, while Zach is actually kind to him, which of course means that Duncan shows up exactly when Zach needs him. This leads to a scene in which Duncan gives a speech about how back in the day he wanted to be cool and impress his fellow students, but eventually came to realize he wasn't living up to his potential. Zach then sees himself in Duncan and decides not to perform the final Deed. Thank God for philosophizing bums! (There's no explanation as to why Duncan chose to become a vagrant rather than actually attempt to live up to his potential, but I guess that isn't supposed to matter.)
Here are a few more of the movie's innovative ideas: The jocks bully another dorky freshman into throwing a house party while Zach is out performing the deeds. Would you believe that the house gets trashed? Would you believe that the dorky freshman hooks up with a hot blonde? Would you believe that the one guy who brought a video camera to the party manages to stumble across two topless girls who are about to make out? Would you believe that the party gets busted? But that's not all! The mean vice principal's name is Fuchs, which leads to several obvious jokes about his name. There is a mean cop whose name is Dill, which leads to several obvious jokes about his name. The school bully is a monster truck-driving redneck who runs over the vehicles of anyone who dares take his parking space. Now here's the dumbest plotline: Zach is taken under the wing of a local mobster, who obviously sees a little bit of himself in Zach. This mobster calls in his goombas to help Zach when Zach has to rush off to the school to save Meg from being blown to bits while standing on a stage that the redneck bully and the jocks have wired to explode. (I'm not making this up.) Well, after Zach has saved Meg, and after he and Meg have finally hooked up, the mobster hands the keys to his Ferrari to Zach, at which time Zach and Meg drive off together. Yay. (Does anybody else find it odd that Lacey Chabert quit Family Guy because she objected to some of the content, yet continues to sign up for movies such as this? I guess somebody raised her rent.)
The technical quality is exactly what you would expect from a movie with this pedigree. The transfer is perfectly serviceable, although it is somewhat marred by a couple of grainy scenes and more than a few overly-ruddy flesh tones. With the exception of the unbelievably bad songs featured on the soundtrack, the Dolby Digital track features very little channel and only one instance of surround action (during the climactic explosion); dialogue is sometimes muddled, but it's not like you're missing anything. Extras include some boring, overly-earnest, unintentionally funny interviews, the movie's theatrical trailer, and some painfully unfunny bloopers. You also get an extended scene of the two topless girls from the house party (they both could stand to do some abdominal crunches), as well as some footage of the movie's premiere. At least I think it's footage of the movie's premiere, but I cannot be sure, as it mainly consists of shots of people standing in front of the movie's poster intercut with several close-ups of cans of Red Bull. (Again, I'm not making this up.)
Here's another question: If the filmmakers don't give a damn, why should I?
Not only are the people responsible for Dirty Deeds guilty of making a horrible move, they're also guilty of besmirching the good name of AC/DC. I can't decide which is worse.
Review content copyright © 2006 Mitchell Hattaway; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Freestyle Home Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Theatrical Trailer
* Sizzling Hot Extra Scenes
* Bloopers and Outtakes
* Soho House Party
* Official Site