Evan's Eyes

Knockaround Guys

I have a sense that the writer/directors of this movie didn't go to film school. Perhaps they had a friend who did, and they made him summarize everything he learned. They picked up a few good tips, like making the opening sequence perfectly capture the mood, tone and message of the entire film; a miniature version that plays out again through the rest of the movie. This is good, except when you get to the end of the movie and realize that if you had known this, you would have skipped the last 86 minutes because you didn't WANT to feel the same way at the closing credits as you did after the first sequence. This is because the message of the film is "You can't trust anybody, and Life is just a downward spiral to disappointment and failure." Now, this DOES seem like the sort of stuff spewed out by someone who went to film school, so it's hard to tell. They do give the taciturn heavy a couple articulate speeches out of the blue, which could either be film school, or the actor said "I'm the biggest name of the four lead actors, and I want some good lines." My theory, and this is just speculation, is that a couple clinically-depressed guys wrote a script that sold and was made into the movie "Rounders", which did pretty well at the box office because it had Matt Damon in it. Figuring to leverage that success, they knocked out another screenplay about the sons of major players in organized crime. Somehow (Pity? Blackmail?), they got producers to let them DIRECT, and "Knockaround Guys" came to be. The studio didn't know what to do with it, and let it sit on the shelf for two years. Finally, they released it, heavily promoting the presence of Vin Diesel and Seth Green, and making it look like a hip American version of "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." Unfortunately, the film itself only appealed to other clinically-depressed people, who are notoriously bad for word-of-mouth promotion, so this movie quickly sank from view. So unless you're clinically depressed or really love movies about the downward spiral of gangster offspring, you can give this film a miss, but I could be wrong. I didn't go to film school.

If you liked the movies below, you'll probably like this one (and visa versa):

  • Goodfellas
  • Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead
  • Manhunter
Overall Rating: 4 (where 1=Worthless, 10=Fabulous)

Eight-Facet Info Rating, rated on a scale of 0 (None) to 4 (Lots!)):

Humor: 0
Nudity: 0
Sexual Reference: 1
Sexual Activity: 0
Action: 2
Gore: 2
Violence: 3
Profanity: 1


© 2003 Evan M. Nichols