Release Date: October 11, 2002
Starring: Barry Pepper, John Malkovich,
Dennis Hopper, and Vin Diesel
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 90 minutes
Distributor: New Line Cinema
Director: Brian Koppelman and David
Executive Producer: Michael De Luca, Brian Witten
and Stan Wlodkowski
Producer: Lawrence Bender, Julie
Kirkham, Brian Koppelman, and
Writer: Brian Koppelman and David
Address Comments To:
Robert Shaye & Michael Lynne
New Line Cinema
116 North Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 854-5811
Fax: (310) 659-3568
(PaPaPa, Ro, LLL, VVV, AA, DD, MM) Strongly pagan worldview with mobsters controlling life’s events through crime, violence & intimidation and a secondary romantic perspective with the emotion of the moment ruling; intense language with 95 counted obscenities including 71 “f” words and at least six being profanities; intense violence including man’s tongue getting cut out before he is murdered, mobster giving a child a gun and told to shoot a betrayer, and numerous punch-outs and gun fights; no sex or nude scenes, but some sexual references; numerous scenes of alcohol, smoking, and drug use and abuse; and, negligent parenting, disrespect for authority, lying, stealing, cheating, murder, robbery, intimidation, bullying, back-stabbing, etc.
In KNOCKAROUND GUYS, the sons of notorious mobsters go to a remote midwestern town to hunt down some missing money, but they get themselves into more trouble than anyone wanted. With more than 100 obscenities and profanities, an unsettling amount of violence, and the portrayal of unresolved childhood hurts, moral audiences will likely choose to avoid this movie.
KNOCKAROUND GUYS begins in 1987 with 12-year-old Matty Demaret (Barry Pepper) being handed a gun and told, “Tonight is the night you become a man.” This “uncle,” Teddy Deserve (John Malkovich), insists that Matty must be the one to waste a certain thug who ratted on his father, mobster Benny “Chains” Demaret (Dennis Hopper), sending him to jail. Matty tries to murder but can’t pull the trigger. Teddy forgives him and does the dirty deed himself.
Matty grows up and truly wants to get a job as a decent citizen, but employer after decent employer turns him down when they find out who his father is. Realizing that he won’t make it in the real world, he goes back to his dad and asks for a second chance to prove himself worthy of the gang’s responsibility and respect. His father says to him, “You’re not cut out for this. Maybe it’s my fault for raising you in privilege, but most guys go for this work ‘cause they don’t got no other way to survive.”
It’s Teddy, though, who is able to talk “Chains” into giving Matty a go at a certain project, and finally it’s agreed. Matty will use his friend, Marbles (Seth Green), to fly a small plane into a city to pick up an important suitcase filled with half a million dollars. The friend botches the pickup, so Matty and three other mobster’s sons fly down to the remote country town in the Midwest to figure out what happened and retrieve the money. One of the boys comments, “We’re gumbahs to the outside world and errand boys to our dads, ‘the knockaround guys.’” Another boy retorts, “That’s OK . . . Their name gets me laid . . . a lot.”
The mob sons make a plan to find the toughest guy in town, beat him up and intimidate him into helping them find their money. They find him, and he begrudgingly complies. The stakes get higher, though, when a dirty, tough sheriff gets greedy in the process. “Uncle” Teddy warns Matty to be careful and do it right, or he’ll have to face the “3 R’s – the roof, the river, or the revolver.”
The tough, obviously New York Italian mobster boys wait in a skanky hotel for the town bully to come up with the goods, and they laugh as they watch a bunch of country bumpkin hunters staking out a turkey on a hunting show on TV. Matty comments that he almost got to have a hunting trip with his father, but the NYPD busted his dad that day instead. He says he’s often imagined that hunting trip and what it would have been like. Matty has a heart-to-heart conversation with his friend, Taylor (Vin Diesel), who tells him, “For 99 guys out of 100, this is a lose-lose (occupation).”
The action gets intense when the mob kids, the rednecks, the tough sheriff, and the big, bad daddy mobsters all converge on the town for a showdown. When one of the guys falls down on his job, Matty yells to him, “This money was like life-support for my father!”
As everything seems to fall apart, the big question remains: Will Matty be able to identify the betrayer among the group? Will he be able to pull the trigger? Most importantly, will a good mobster performance make everything right with his dad?
KNOCKAROUND GUYS portrays the incredibly sad ache in the heart of every child who doesn’t know the unconditional love and attention of a good father. The sons of the mobsters in this film truly feel like they’re riding on the coattails of their notorious, big bad dads, and they’ve given up on trying to establish an honorable identity of their own.
This movie has a dark, rough, gruff tone and never really solves the performance-orientation that rejected children feel with their parents. It will no doubt leave Christian audiences feeling the hollow perspectives of a non-Christian lifestyle.
The foul language in KNOCKAROUND GUYS exceeds the one-hundred mark, the majority being “f” words . . . very uncreative writing for such stellar actors to play out. The violence is unsettling, and the unsolved heartache in the child is downright distressing to all who comprehend it.
Unbelievably, the movie is listed under “comedy,” but despite the contrast between the northern mobsters and the country tough guys, there is no real comedy here.
In KNOCKAROUND GUYS, the sons of notorious mobsters go to a remote Midwestern town to hunt down some missing money, but they get themselves into more trouble than anyone wanted. Mob son Matty truly wants to get a job as a decent citizen, but every employer turns him down when they find out who his father is. Matty gets one more chance to prove himself worthy of the mobster lifestyle. He and his buddies get in a jam, however, and it takes the mob fathers to help them out of it. The action gets intense when everyone converges on a small town for the showdown.
KNOCKAROUND GUYS has a dark, rough, gruff tone and never really solves the rejection that the young men feel from their parents. It will no doubt leave audiences feeling the hollow perspectives of a non-Christian lifestyle. The foul language exceeds the one-hundred mark, the violence is unsettling, and the unresolved heartache in the mobster children is downright distressing to all who comprehend it. Unbelievably, KNOCKAROUND GUYS is listed as a “comedy,” but despite the contrast between the northern mobsters and the country tough guys, there is no comedy here.