Nicky Deuce Review

Would it be wrong to call Nicky Deuce, an hour-long Nickelodeon TV Movie, a neo-noir homage? Yes, it would be. But that is what it sets out to be at times. Its opening sees a figure shrouded in black, a trilby and fitted suit akin to that of only the finest Humphrey Bogart feature. That is Johnny Gorgeous, a fictional character in a fictional world whose influence on the life of Nicky Borelli (Noah Munck) is paramount. He worships the ground he walks on, and is feasting his eyes on the many films of this “cool guy” before he heads off to math(s) camp.  

Exciting and dangerous, “girls love that stuff,” Josh (Jesse Camacho) says. He finds himself living free for the time being, with parents in Papa New Guinea and himself off to math(s) camp. He has that “protagonist sensation” to him as he drifts out of the real world in the car on the way to math(s) camp. He may be the leading man, but he zones out like we may do on our commute to work with our music on a tad too loud as we stare wistfully out of the train window and think of the places we could be, rather than stuck on a bridge heading into Newcastle. Nicky clearly thinks of himself as a future gangster, a la Ray Liotta in Goodfellas, but fails to give credence to the ideas and moral ambiguity of organised crime.  

Still, giving more than a few moments of thought to anything that occurs within Nicky Deuce is surely going to cause a brain rupture. Sent away to spend the week with his “blight on society” uncle, it is here that Nicky gets to pursue his dream of being as cool and exciting as Johnny Gorgeous. Seeing so many familiar faces crop up in this isn’t as sad as it should be, because these are still actors with integrity, and with that, they act well. Even Munck is solid in his leading role, it is the script that provides the most issues. That squeaky clean, obnoxious positivity is infectious here, and not at all that dreadful. An obvious love interest here, a setlist of cameos there, and Nicky Deuce comes together oddly well. It would work if I were younger and less jaded, but works better than it should since my first viewing of The Sopranos has just ended. My sickening recency bias, along with clinging dearly to my childhood, makes it hard to hate Nicky Deuce 

As disturbing and upsetting Nicky Deuce is, it is the closest we’ll ever get to a full-fledged reunion of The Sopranos. Edie Falco is missing, although her career trajectory is far greater than the man whose role here is a character named “Charlie Cement.” Bless your heart, Tony Sirico. Hang on in there. Steven Van Zandt is missing also, but he has somehow managed to keep himself intact and avoids Nicky Deuce by starring in a Tony Soprano-style role elsewhere in Lilyhammer. The word “with” shows up in the opening credits at the introduction of nearly every cast member of The Sopranos. You can hear their wallets crushed shut as they pocket the Nickelodeon corporate cash. Who can blame them? 

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