"Funny Mishaps and Melody"
THE DUKES is a comical tale about a group of has-been performers from the ‘60s barely able to make ends meet and desperate enough to make one last bumbling attempt at robbing a local dentist’s office in hopes of finally getting back on their feet.
Former band leader of The Dukes, Danny DePasquale, and his partner George Zucco, both struggling with their financial obligations, have taken jobs in their feisty Aunt Vee’s Italian restaurant. Not only is Danny divorced from a wife who has a rich boyfriend, but he can’t even afford to help pay for a dentist to fix his beloved son’s teeth. George, who seems to have a certain penchant for larger women, is always scheming with Danny for quick-fix ideas that will make them rich.
Their two closest friends, Armond and Murph, find themselves in hardly better situations. Armond, a stand-up comedian who used to open for The Dukes is now a diabetic confined to a wheelchair, while Murph was fired from his job as an airline mechanic for smoking too much marijuana.
Through a series of happenstances, these four friends make a final desperate attempt to rob a local dentist’s office of its cavity-filling gold. Of course, nothing goes quite as planned, and the men find themselves having to make their dreams come true through hard work and sheer tenacity.
The overall production quality of THE DUKES is good, with some realistic camera work that makes audiences feel like they are watching a well-made home movie at times. This camera style is characteristic of independent filmmakers. The overall writing is entertaining with many clever lines thrown out by the main characters, but the story as a whole lacks enough historical background to really help audiences understand the characters fully and their deep connections to one another. Despite this, the actors do a commendable job of portraying their characters and making the story believable.
THE DUKES has many funny moments extolling virtues of friendship, love, sacrifice, and perseverance in the midst of absurd obstacles, but there are some elements that demand caution. First, it is implied that George likes to have one night stands, especially with plus-size women. Also, the main characters try to steal as a means of accomplishing their goals. This is somewhat rebuked by their failure, but not by the main characters themselves. Finally, the movie contains a couple light drug references to marijuana where the character of Murph is stoned during the robbery. This is played for laughs, but it should not be condoned.
(BB, C, H, LL, V, S, A, DD, MM) Strong moral worldview extolling the virtues of friendship, love, sacrifice, and perseverance in the midst of absurd obstacles, with some overt liturgical and high church elements such as wearing ashes on forehead for Ash Wednesday, man crosses himself while praying, man asks what happens when you die and second man answers “you get sent back to California and Hollywood is limbo along” with light humanist elements; nine obscenities and four profanities; man hit in the head by football, man hallucinates a policeman shooting a gun, but nobody is hit; minor sexual references, light kissing leading to implied fornication, man is infatuated with plus size women, man stares at bikini clad woman; four brief instances of cleavage depicted and woman in bikini; light alcohol use; two light drug references to marijuana, and man hallucinates during robbery because he is under the influence of drugs; and lying, stealing which does not pay off in the end, and one main character is divorced.
THE DUKES is a comical tale about a group of has-been performers from the ‘60s. Danny, former band leader of The Dukes, and his partner, George, are barely able to make ends meet working in their feisty Aunt Vee’s Italian restaurant. They gather two friends, Armond and Murph, to make one last bumbling attempt at robbing a dentists’ office of its cavity filling gold. Nothing goes quite as planned, and the four friends find themselves having to make their dreams come true through hard work and sheer tenacity, as they learn that nothing worth having comes easy.
The production quality in THE DUKES is good, with some realistic camera work that makes viewers feel like they are watching a well-made home movie. The overall writing is entertaining with many clever lines by the characters, but the story lacks enough background to help viewers fully understand the characters. Despite this, the actors do a good job. The movie has many funny moments extolling the virtues of friendship, love, sacrifice, and perseverance in the midst of absurd obstacles, but the movie’s minor sexual content, stealing, and light drug references require extreme caution.