Do Not Watch: Wrong Side of Town

Dear Producers of Wrong Side of Town:

I regret to inform you that Did-Not-Finish cannot invest in your project at this time.

While I did enjoy this rough mock up of a functional movie… What? This was the final cut?

Seriously? Well…

It’s hard to be too hateful towards a movie that is so full of professional wrestlers — mostly because it would get messy if they ever found me (I’m a bleeder). Also, it really looked like they were having fun, which makes it hard for me to rip this movie apart. (That is a lie; it’s going to be super easy).

Wrong Side of Town stars Rob Van Dam. I thought he was Jean-Claude Van Damme’s brother (he isn’t) partly because of the name, but mostly because of the acting style (bad).

Rob is an ex–Navy Seal with a silly haircut. He is the guy on the right in the movie poster, in the back, behind the guy they introduce three-quarters of the way into the movie. I imagine that Rob is overshadowed by a guy who had maybe fifteen minutes of screen time because he’s the one who funded the project.

The set-up is as follows: Rob and his wife go into the City with their new neighbors to visit a trendy nightclub. Through a series of what can only be described as “scenes that were supposed to make sense when viewed in order” Rob’s wife ends up getting sexually assaulted! It may just have been a tragic misunderstanding since the guy seemed like he was only trying to start a tickle fight, but Rob is unhappy. He lets us know by almost frowning.

Mr. Handsy pulls a knife, Rob throws him on a sofa, and the sofa kills him instantly by stabbing him with the knife he brought to this fistfight. Some might blame Rob for this course of events, or at least call it an unfortunate accident, but the sofa clearly had an agenda. You can tell by the way it sat there, looking so smug after the attack.

Anyway, the dead tickle rapist/coke head ends up being the son/brother of the trendy night club owner. Get comfy (but avoid the sofa!), this could take a while.

In a fit of rage, the nightclub owner puts a bounty on poor Rob’s head. A whole $100,000, which is nearly $99,991 more than this movie grossed in DVD sales, give or take $9. Everyone in the city instantly becomes aware of the bounty and promptly locates and attacks Rob, who gets shot in the butt.

Still, Rob Van Dam didn’t get to where he is today by quitting every time someone shot him in the butt, so he presses onward. Not to get even with the guy who took out a contract on his life, but to head home and get some shuteye — because this whole bounty thing has to blow over in a few hours, right?

Eventually, Rob finds the guy in the center of the movie poster, who owes him one from the time Rob saved his life by taking a bullet for him. But this guy wants nothing to do with Rob, because Rob has a stupid haircut:

After what seems like two minutes, this guy simultaneously betrays Rob to a gang of thugs and/or saves him from them. Have I mentioned that things get confusing? The two are friends again, and Rob is dramatically told to get home and keep his head down.

Rob heads home, and if you have not figured out yet that the poorly acted nightclub owner has kidnapped Rob’s daughter, then SPOILER ALERT: someone has kidnapped Rob’s daughter! And that someone is a terrible actor!

By now, Rob has had ENOUGH of this crap! So he gets a box out of storage that’s packed full of everything they don’t let ex-Navy Seals keep once they become civilians. Now Rob has guns and a bulletproof jacket to go with his stupid haircut.

Jumping on his trusty (read: new, stolen) motorcycle, he tosses on a pair of shades and rides off into the night (still in sunglasses) to do what he has to do on The Wrong Side of Town.

See what I did there?

Let me be clear on this next part: Rob prepared for a starring role in this project by refusing to get any sort of training on how to look like he was in the military. You can learn how to hold an assault rifle just from playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and yet Rob looks like he’s not sure whether he’s holding a gun or a clarinet.

Let’s circle back to my earlier comment about the clumsy rapist cokehead who is fatally allergic to knives. You see, he’s actually the nightclub owner’s son from an accidental pregnancy back in his teenage years, but the two were raised as brothers. This kind of in-depth characterization and detailed backstory could easily be mistaken for a bunch of people just making things up as they go along, highlighting the subtle artistry of the script. Wait, I think there was no script — they really just made things up as they went along

Rob just walks into the bad guy’s lair, kills a few guys, and then wackiness ensues. Rob must fight two big guys without guns! It drags out a little too long.

While this not-quite-epic fight is underway, the evil club owner manages to find Rob’s daughter, which is impressive considering the city-sized haystack in which this human needle was hiding. But Rob turns the tables, shows up just as his daughter is found, and dishes out an industrial-strength beating. Credits roll.

I’m pretty sure it was Confucius who said “Every turd has a little bit of shine to it” (don’t Google that). What shines in Wrong Side of Town? The fighting.

If pro wrestlers know one thing, it’s how to beat the hell out of each other. This movie finds just about every reason possible for Rob to get in a fight. He brawls in parking garages, gas stations, parks, dry cleaners (wait, I made that one up), and, um, a different park, by the waterfront this time.

And he’s not just hurting people, he’s hurting them convincingly. Or they got some people desperate for cash and let Rob hurt them for real. Either way, the rest of the movie sucks.

Do not watch: Stupid Haircut… the movie.


About Donald Conrad

Donald Conrad is an avid father and a dedicated gamer -- or maybe that's the other way around. He loves his games, and he loves his family, and he's pretty sure he loves sleep, even if he doesn't remember what it was like. Follow his life confusion on Twitter @ConManEd