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"Wrong Side Of Town" - Movie Review

Thanks to O-ster Nathaniel Davis for sending this in:

Right from the get go, this movie doesn't take time to fuck around. The plot is pretty simple: An average family man goes to a night club with his new neighbors, and ends up being hunted by the mob for killing the bosses coked out rapist baby brother.

A couple of films spring to mind when I think of this plot "Judgment Night" (starring Denis Leary, Emilio Estevez, Stephen Dorff, and Donnie's favorite actor The Piven) which was about a group of suburban friends who take a wrong turn and end up in the ghetto running from a ruthless gang. The other film, "Trespass" (starring Bill Paxton, Ice-T, Ice-Cube, and William Sadler) which was about two firefighters who are clued into the location of stashed away loot in an old hotel in the ghetto, they go to collect it only to be trapped by a gang.

The reason these two films stand out when thinking of the plot to Wrong Side is because they took very simple plots that were a little more far fetched then reality based and had fun with them, something this film had the potential to do as well.

After watching this movie, and trust me it took a lot to sit through it. I thought it would be best to break something of such cinematic excellence down to its very basics.

The Hook. The first five or ten minutes of any movie is where the movie explains to the viewer what to expect. A great example is "Pulp Fiction". This is where the hook works because it reveals exactly what your in store for. Here... we find a man tied to a chair and being beaten senseless by a couple of fat bikers. Where, one might wonder are they beating this poor man? A mysterious dark room maybe? No. A basement perhaps? No. Out in the open, next to a large bridge with cars zooming back and fourth... in broad daylight. Yeap! So after a few punches are thrown and the fatties are sucking in air, the mob boss shows up, played by Jerry "Nobody knows who the hell I am" Katz. He talks smack to him about being a rat and has him dumped into the river.

The movie quickly cuts to... a James Bond inspired opening credit sequence. Seriously... a James Bond style opening sequence... So, based on the hook we know for certain this movie is going to be complete ass.

Act One. Here's where we set everything up in about fifteen minutes. We'll met our hero, our villain, and we'll see things set into motion that will send the two of them on a crash course toward pain! In this epic, we find former W.W.E. Champion and current T.N.A. Champion Rob Van Dam gearing up a chainsaw to cut a random chunk of wood in half in his posh backyard.

The chainsaw however gives out so Mr. Whole Fucking Movie ends up karate chopping the chunk of wood in half, but before we are allowed to let this moment of badass coolness settle in, AN EMERGENCY IS AT HAND!!! Mr. Straight To DVD's daughter who was swimming in his pool in his posh backyard is suddenly drowned and lifeless. As Rob Van Dam's wife screams in horror, Rob burst into action diving into the pool and saving his daughter carrying her out and to safety.

Seconds before giving her c.p.r. she begins to laugh and jokes about being a good actress. Rob's wife wants to ground her for a month, but Rob talks her down to two weeks. Parenting is obviously not what it use to be because a stunt like that would mean one serious ass whooping back in my day. BACK TO THE MOVIE!!! An extremely white acting black neighbor named Clay, arrives and welcomes himself to the neighborhood. He invites Rob and his wife to go to a night club in the city. Rob's spider sense begins to tingle and he seems reluctant, but goes because his wife wants to. They attend the night club, which as it turns out is run by the Godfather of the shitty direct to video mafia Jerry Katz.

He tells his younger Corey Haim like brother Ross Britz to keep an eye on his nightclub while he goes off to do some work elsewhere. He tells him not to go chasing the muff, and sure as shit he does. And in a night club filled with porn star like ladies, he finds himself oddly enough face to face with Rob Van Dam's wife who looks like Toni Collette from "Little Miss Sunshine". For some odd reason she's the hottest thing he's ever seen and must have her, even if it means he must subject her to a form of rape which involves not removing any clothing, no real kissing, just a lot of loud grunting and the occasional "you know you want it".

Rob's spider sense tingles like a mother fucker and he searches the club for her, once he finds Not Corey Haim making sounds atop his wife, he throws the kid aside and hugs her... the kid is taken back by this and since Rob seems to have no interest in handing him a beating for you know... trying to rape his wife, decides its best he force Rob to avenge her by charging at him with a knife. Rob however is the Whole Fucking Movie, and is able side step the kid who falls onto his blade and dies.

Jerry Katz learns of this and is filled such anger he decides to briefly act his ass off by screaming "Damns you's!!! I shall avenge my fallen coked out rapist brother who is Corey Haim like but not in fact Corey Haim!!!" to which Rob Van Dam is like... "Sorry dude... watch me on Impact Monday... uh, Thursday nights though, OK?". Jerry Katz won't stand for that though instead he puts a bounty of Rob's head, demanding he be brought to him alive. And so, act one is finished.


The body of a film rests in its second act, and it is where the film must answer questions left in it's hook and ask new questions. The villain must rise to power in the second act and the hero must endure extreme hardships... any good action movie is about sacrifice, and here is where we see what our hero is willing to suffer through to save the day. The Dark Knight is a great example of a second act that kicks into new gears.

So, RVD, his wife, and Clay are brought into the police station for questioning. Jerry Katz is informed by his creepy looking cop on the take that RVD is not only a former E.C.W. Television Champion and Money In The Bank winner, but is also a former Navy Seal... just like Jesse. Jerry Katz wants them dead, but the bad cop is like, "Sorry dude, can't. They're kinda in a police station".

Jerry Katz won't stands for this so he pays a taxi driver who is escorting them home to make a sudden stop at a gas station where a gang circles them, and how serious is this gang? Their led by one half of the 1995 Summerslam main event, former King of the Ring, and former member of one of the greatest tag teams ever Men On a Fucking Mission's Mabel. RVD sizes up Mabel, and then dick punches him... yes... he punches Mabel in the joystick, and he drives away with his wife and neighbors in tow.

After a few more goofy chases RVD has his wife and neighbors leave him, telling them to go home where they'll be safe. Without much resistance they are gone, which leaves RVD roaming the tough streets on the wrong side of town... which actually looks like the down town business district of a city at night. As it turns out RVD isn't just roaming, he's in search of a former Navy Seal buddy who owes him a favor.

ENTER former World and W.W.E. Champion Dave Batista. Now Batista is found inside a goofy bar, where we are told he is the owner. His first scene reveals him to be sitting in a booth with a topless lady next to him... not in front of him where he could stare at her silicone goodies, no, beside him... just sitting there... no under the table funny business that would explain the sitting across from each other bit... nope... just sitting there... like a married couple... RVD asks Big Dave for help and Big Dave is like... nope. Which causes RVD to mention for the first time, but far from the last "I took a bullet for you bro!?!".

Clay drops RVD's wife off at her house and returns home. No-one bothers to contact the police, or get re-enforcements to help RVD out, nope they just go home and wait.

MEANWHILE... RVD limps along through a park when he is suddenly surrounded by over a dozen thugs who resemble back up dancers. They are led by Ja Rule who is easily punked out by Rob who goes on to fight the large gang, however unable to summon that John Cena/Triple H ability to wipe out small armies of men, RVD falls victim to the numbers game and is held by what seems like thirty guys so Ja Rule can punch him a few times. The Animal shows up and tells them to stop, because Jerry Katz wants him alive. RVD screams "I took a bullet for you bro!?!" fifty more times which eventually has an effect on Dave who without much cause is suddenly like "Changed my mind let 'em go". This doesn't set right with Ja Rule which leads to the best line in the whole entire movie, Ja Rule refuses to let him go, Dave says "do it cause I say's to!" and Ja Rule, brilliantly utters the following soon to be classic line "I don't care you big goofy lookin' mutha-phucka!" Batista doesn't verbally respond he just shoots Ja in the head.

The scene is kinda sweet, but sours quickly when Dave spends the next two minutes talking to the now very dead Ja Rule. RVD limps off but not before Batista is like "we're even, no more of that took a bullet for you shit!"

Clay and his wife are laying in bed, fucking sleeping while RVD is getting gang attacked everywhere. Clay wakes his wife up and states that he feels like a coward for not doing more. No shit, you make Shaggy from Scooby Doo look like Snake Plissken. Rather then acting on his guilt and going out to find and help RVD, Clay... goes back to sleep.

RVD meanwhile is still walking, he is attacked by a lone thug on a motorcycle. He takes out the thug and steals the bike and drives home.

Once at home RVD is greeted by Clay in a fucking bathrobe who is like a five year old asking "how'd you make it home, where'd you get the bike". In my mind RVD round house kicked his ass and ear fucked him while screaming "Why the fuck are you wearing a bath robe and not taking my wife and daughter to a safer location you cowardly bitch!?!" Instead the whole fucking movie smiles and gives him a thumbs up... what... the... fuck?

RVD goes into the bathroom where we are treated to a Stallone style patching up the wounds scene. Afterward RVD hits the hay, immediately noticing his wife is bound with duct tape on her mouth. He rips the tape off and is given a big spill from her about Jerry Katz having their daughter and wanting him to rescue her at this old creepy bridge. RVD is like "I'm on it bro".

He goes to the garage where he suits up Batman style, looking like "Defendor" he rides the motorcycle off to rescue his daughter and so gone is the second act.

Now, the third act is the big one as everything has built to this. A great example of a well done third act is "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Un-Cut". Everything goes to hell in the third act, Canada and the U.S. go to war, Satan and Saddam rise from Hell, and by the end of the film all is right with the world again.


Begins and we are treated to pretty much non-stop fight sequences. RVD vs. Gang of Thugs, winner... The Whole Fucking Movie of course. Then Batista vs. Skinny Ninja Guy, the winner? Well, lets just say the Beast was unleashed... sort of. Then the main event, the fight we've been building toward this entire movie TNA World Champion, The Whole Fucking Show, Mr. Mond... Thursday Night Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Katz. The winner? RVD in like two seconds... seriously... two fucking seconds. I get that RVD is a badass in this movie and that Jerry Katz is in over his head in a fight but come on!?! Even in the original Batman, Joker who wasn't a fighter was able to get some licks in. So, Jerry Katz is defeated and RVD collects his daughter and walks off joking about Batista's tats.

So, that's it. "Wrong Side Of Town" in a nutshell. It's the kind of flick that could have been a fun flick despite being mindless entertainment, but it just never seemed to get off the ground.

The Negatives: The supporting cast however all seem like rejected day players from "Walker Texas Ranger", not that they had much to work with, the supporting characters are never given much to do. The locations made no sense as it was never presented as being a bad area. The script is extremely weak and leads me to wonder if they bothered with a second draft or just said "hey there's a script, fuck yeah lets start shooting!"

The Positives: RVD and Batista pretty much play themselves, which is what you kind of expect when picking up this flick. The fight scene's aren't bad, though they are far from great. With a little more effort put into the pre-production part of this movie it could have been watchable. It did, despite all it's awful awfulness gives us the flawless line "I don't care you big goofy lookin' mutha-phucka!"

1 comments: on ""Wrong Side Of Town" - Movie Review"

The Heterodox said...

I still don't get what's up with the DVD cover: we have the Supporting Actor standing in the middle, wielding two guns, taking at least 80% of the screen, some rapper guy who appeared only a few minutes before getting shot to death by the Supporting Actor and the actual protagonist standing at the end with a "Hey how did I ended up here?" look on his face. Clearly, the cover reeks "Hey, WE HAVE CAMEOS of some random celebrities.. and they're on the freaking cover!!!".

Anyway, great review. I need to agree, the karate wood chopping scene was enough to made me sure that this movie will ended up as trainwreck.