Dirty Deeds
Grade: D-
Year: 2005
Director: David Kendall
Writers: Jon Land & Jonathan Thies
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13
By Scott Spicciati


Classic teen comedies like last generation's "Animal House" and newly inducted Hall-of-Famer "American Pie" will forever make audiences laugh with every repeated viewing and provide conversational fodder around the poker table.

Alas, every genre's greatest films inspire untold numbers of unwanted byproducts; commercial knockoffs intended to emulate similar success by failing to realize those comedies had good writers and don't have to offend its targeted audience with exhausted toilet humor and character stereotypes - which alone do not suffice for even marginal entertainment.

In "Dirty Deeds," a horrendously unfunny comedy by first time writers Jon Land and Jonathan Thies (yes, it took two), West Valley High's most ambitious senior, Zach Harper (Milo Ventimiglia) has exactly one night to do "The Deeds," a series of ten pranks ranging from lame to felonious (drink beer in front of a cop; steal a dead body and place it on the football field) before the school officially celebrates Homecoming the following morning.

Zach's motive for accepting the challenge would be too depressing to explain in full detail here, but it does involve winning the girl who kinda likes him but wonders if he's just a misunderstood soul or a complete jerk. Her name is Meg and is implausibly both the hottest girl in school and the class valedictorian. She's played by Lacey Chabert who was also The Hot Girl in "Not Another Teen Movie," but apparently ignored that movie's invaluable message.

The school is rooting for Zach to win, which of course is dividend into clearly distinguishable cliques. We only see the Goths twice because black makeup is so uninteresting, and the Eminem wannabes are just pathetic. More time is spent on the Popular Girls who dress slutty and make out with the most unattractive kid in the school just because he was "bold enough" to throw a party...with beer and stuff!

Sadly the jocks are once again stereotyped as letter jacket-wearing imbeciles who couldn't say a nice thing if their lives depended on it. Representing the team are four black guys who are always in the same frame together and say things like "word" and "daaaamn!" They are led by Lawton (Matthew Carey), a mean kid who's mean because movies like this require him to be mean and throw bottles at homeless people. When he's not forcing freshmen to drink his urine he takes responsibility for holding the envelope containing the ten deeds that must be completed before dawn, or else - oh never mind.

While completing the deeds Zach runs into many obstacles such as Vice Principal Fuchs (yes, Fuchs - played by Tom Amandes), who is one of those movie principals always yelling and wishing he were a drill sergeant. Then there's Officer Dill (yes, Dill - played by Michael Milhoan) who knows the kids are up to doing the deeds but strangely is unaware of what they entail even though a handful of them have been accomplished in the past.

But the biggest threat to completing the challenge is Riplock (yes, Riplock - played by 2gether's Alex Solowitz), the token bully who rams cars in the parking lot with his truck and hangs out after school fighting in allies next to those barrels that are always on fire.

Punching him is the second deed, which follows the first one: Drink a beer in front of a cop. That's easy. A loophole allows Zach to drink beer from a coffee cup in front of an unsuspecting Officer Dill. But the third deed is a little more challenging. It involves ejaculating into a loaf of bread inside a store's bathroom. No points for guessing the loaf will eventually be consumed by Vice Principal Fuch while watching Hitler on archived video.

The fourth deed could get Zach a burglary charge if caught with the giant balloon leprechaun he must steal from a used car lot, but it's the fifth deed involving the removal of a dead body from a funeral home that makes him a felon. Yet it's the subsequent deeds that give Zach the hardest time, such as #5: Bring back a bra that belongs to a past Homecoming queen. Zoe Saldana (Guess Who) should have fired her agent for landing her that cameo.

So now you have a basic understanding of what this movie is about: Complete one deed and move on to the next, and along the way run into characters whose hackneyed formulas replace originality and cleverness - such as the old lady who has severe intestinal gas and a senile security guard whose fake leg must be stolen to complete the seventh deed.

You may be wondering what would happen to the whole deeds thing if the challenges became inapplicable - say if the old security guard retired or the used car lot shut down, but that would be thinking and the film's screenplay doesn't deserve it. Not to mention none went into its formulation on the part of the writers.

There's an abundance of plot holes; the big one being that nobody seems to know what the deeds are until they're revealed for the first time during Zach's attempt, even though the first five have been accomplished many times in recent years. Yet somehow Zach is able to sneak a dead body right past Officer Dill who mistakes him for a passed out uncle. You'd think there would be a copy of the 'Dirty Deeds' hanging in every post office. (Interesting side note: You know your film is in trouble when it encourages flashbacks of "Weekend at Bernie's.")

Now I could drone on and on about the many plot holes, but again, that would be thinking, and this movie doesn't deserve any analysis. But why would the car dealer still keep that leprechaun balloon on his lot when it's stolen every...oh, it's fruitless.

"Dirty Deeds" was produced by Green Diamond Entertainment, a new production company comprised of notable baseball players such as Jason Giambi, Tom Glavine, Mike Piazza, Al Leiter and Robin Ventura. If Green Diamond wishes to stay green, it will be more careful deciding what it green lights in the future.

When parodies like "Not Another Teen Movie" come along to establish the clichés of the genre that by now should be long buried and forgotten, there's no excuse for garbage like "Dirty Deeds," its unauthorized sequel.

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