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Movie Review: Deuces (2017)

Synopsis: An undercover cop finds himself drawn in by a unique, charismatic gang leader.
Director: Jamal Hill
Executive producer: Queen Latifah
Producers: Justin Moritt, Yaneley Arty, Otis Best, Ron Robinson
Screenplay: Jamal Hill, Curtis Bryant
Cast: Larenz Tate, Rotimi, Meagan Good, La La Anthony, Lance Gross, Rick Gonzalez, Andra Fuller, Siya, Chance Kelly
Genre: Crime Drama
Year of release: 2017

A detective , Jason Foster, must go undercover to catch a crime ring that have proven to be a hard nut for the police for many years. It is a dangerous mission, because the gang, led by Stephen Brooks, aka Deuces, a smart and calculating leader, does not take betrayal lightly. But this is important to Jason’s career, so he is determined to go all the way, and even tells his sister, Janet, a goodbye just in case he doesn’t make it out alive.

Unknown to him, Janet has met Deuces, who has asked her out on a date. She considers him a gentleman and falls in love with him, even though she harbours some doubt about what he really does.

The plan is to get close and then burst them on an operation, but Jason get’s too close, to a point where his loyalties cannot be placed. And for the first time, Deuces thinks he is the only one he can trust. It gets worse when Jason realises his sister has been caught in the mix, and he must now make a tough call.

The story, while being unoriginal, is fast-paced and feel-good with its typical thug-life elements; guns, girls, clubs, drugs and money. It has an avalanche of good-looking actors and bikes, and keeps you guessing what would happen next. It carries a sort of Power ensemble (with Tate, La La and Rotimi), and bears an uncanny semblance with 2010 thriller, The Takers in a number of ways.

The resolution, however, leaves a lot to be desired, making the entire film seem like an incomplete idea. It is miraculous how Deuces is rescued with cops so close and him being so badly injured. You want to ask if the writers think you are dumb to not deserve a logical explanation for the sudden turn of events.

Larenz Tate as Deuces is brilliant. He is the typical gang leader you hate but like, and with Meagan Good as Janet, they look like a lovely couple.
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Rotimi plays disloyal Face and you can’t shake off the feeling that Rotimi was made for treacherous characters, like Power’s Andre or Burning SandsEdwin. Rick Gonzalez stands out as Papers, reminding you of Power’s Tommy Egan. One would expect a little more action from Lance Gross’ character, Jason, who is the story’s protagonist, but he does a lot less than promised, and in no time at all, the movie is over.

The abruptness of Deuces is perhaps its biggest flaw. A little more thought and logic in its resolution, and it could have been something special.

Rating: 40%