Matt Dillon appears in this movie in what amounts to the "Godfather" role, as his character runs the neighborhood in which rival street gangs the Vipers and the Deuces square off against one another. The leaders of these two gangs, Leon (Stephen Dorff) and Marco (Norman Reedus), frequently visit Dillon's club to ask his permission to do things like kill each other, and he tosses off gems like "Nobody does anything in this neighborhood without my say so." Then Dillon gives them his mean Matt Dillon FaceTM and apparently does his community theater impression of Marlon Brando by scratching the underside of his chin with his finger.
Dillon puts the fear of God in me like a wilting Dandelion. His "mean" look reminds me of a look my little sister used to give me when she was two and had just crapped her pants. Actually, the film doesn't have that much to do with Dillon. It's about the leader of the Deuces, Leon, and his rivalry with Vipers leader Marco, who thinks Leon is responsible for getting him thrown in jail.
Leon's been traumatized by the death of his little brother, who was sold heroin by Marco, so he doesn't like Marco very much. Whenever they fight, Leon gets that look in his eye much like Rocky does in "Rocky IV" after Apollo Creed is killed by the bad Russian. Then there's Leon's other brother, Bobby (Brad Renfro), who's a hothead and falls in love with the sister of another Viper, Annie (Fairuza Balk), whose expression may or may not betray an infected clitoral piercing. Seriously, this is not an attractive woman, and you know everybody in the film knows it, because they all run around commenting on how hot she is.
The main thing that Bobby and Annie have in common, aside from brothers who are in rival gangs, are mothers who are clinically insane. I guess this is why they get along. Bobby's mother is so damaged from her other son's overdose that she's permanently non-functional. We don't really know what's wrong with Annie's mom (Debbie Harry), but she sings Christmas songs all the time and talks like her brain is melting. I have absolutely no idea what the significance of any of this was, but suspect that the screenwriter had some extra quarters to feed into the Funny Quirk Machine and got a little carried away.
Having said all that, it's nice to see most of the cast of "The Sopranos" getting other work. It's good to know they're challenging themselves with other Italian Mafia-type roles in the off season.
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