Meet the Deedles
1998, PG, 94 min. Directed by Steve Boyum. Starring Steve Van Wormer, Paul Walker, John Ashton, A.j. Langer, Robert Englund, Dennis Hopper.
REVIEWED By Hollis Chacona, Fri., April 3, 1998
I have to admit to not really being able to remember all of the Teenese from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure or Fast Times at Ridgemont High or even Clueless (which has played at least 300 times on my VCR). So I'm not certain if it is the same language used in Meet the Deedles or a new vernacular entirely. Sadly, it all sounds bitchin' to me. Which is to say that, though the words may have changed, the cadence, pitch, and intent of the lexicon remains the same, giving this movie a feel that is at once radically, jammin'ly energetic, and tediously, terminally tired, I mean totally. The Deedles (Phil and Stew) are twins, a pair of latter-day Moondoggies whose love for the surf and wahines has gotten them expelled from school on their 18th birthday. Daddy Deedle is disappointed, and sends the boys packing into the Wyoming wilderness to be straightened out by his ex-Army buddy, a Rambo-like wildman who runs Camp Broken Spirit, a boot camp for languishing rich kids. But like Mr. Magoo, Stew and Phil (who suffer from mental myopia) also have an endless supply of inadvertent good luck. They escape survival camp and are mistaken for two new forest-ranger rookies brought in to rid Yellowstone of pesky prairie dogs before Old Faithful's billionth birthday celebration. Seems a dastardly Dudley Do-wrong (Dennis Hopper -- doing god knows what here) has a plan to divert Old Faithful's geyser onto his property and is using the prairie dogs to dig the tunnels for him. And the plot thins. There's a bit of romance (with the still engaging A.J. Langer from My So-Called Life) and a lot of X-treme Games-style stunts (motorized skateboarding, road luging, and white-water river surfing, to name but a few). But, there's an awful lot of dead time in this picture, and while it's a bit too sweet and innocent to utterly despise, there's nothing there to really like. Unless, of course, you're 11 years old and the scenery is beautiful and the stunts are daring and the boys are cute. And because I can remember, a long, long time ago, how I thought that being Gidget would the bossest thing in the whole world, I will compromise and set the Deedles' rating smack in the middle of my “0” and Tessa's and Cady's “3.” After all, I'm a “blistering” mom and doing anything else would be “heinous.”