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Sometimes you just have to look at the cover art of the film you’re reviewing to know that it’s gonna be a doozy! That plus the fact that I’ve never heard anyone mention this film before does not bode well! So let’s get this over with! Here’s my review of Meet the Deedles!
And remember, SPOILERS AHEAD!
As the film begins, we’re quickly introduced to our main characters, the Deedles. Phil and Stew Deedle, played by Paul Walker and Steve Van Wormer, respectively, are fraternal twins living in Hawaii with a partying mentality. It helps that their father is super rich and gives in to their every desire. This encourages the kids to ditch school as often as they can and just live an irresponsible “surfer-dude” lifestyle.
However after the principal expels the boys from his school, their father, Mr. Elton Deedle, played by Eric Braeden, realizes the error of his ways.
He decides to discipline the boys by sending them to a boot camp just outside Yellowstone National Park where they can learn valuable life/survival skills and not have everything given to them on a silver platter. The Deedles dread this decision and are not pleased to leave the warm beaches of Hawaii for the forested areas of Wyoming.
Upon arriving in Wyoming, they’re picked up by Mr. Deedle’s friend, Major Flowers, played by M.C. Gainey, who runs the boot camp. Well, he RAN the boot camp. It’s apparently been shut down, but the Major is still dead set on fixing the Deedles for good. However, as they’re driving through the Wyoming roads in the forest, they get into an accident resulting in the Deedles being separated from Major Flowers. Major Flowers assumes he’s killed the Deedles and quietly exits the scene while the Deedles are stoked to be alive after falling in a nearby river.
Their clothes are wet, but in the crash fiasco, their car ran through a couple of campers’ clotheslines, so the Deedles have their hand on some women’s clothes which they don. They decide to hitchhike back to the airport via street luging, but end up crashing into the entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
The crew at Yellowstone National Park assume the Deedles are “Mel” and “Mo” due to the names being stitched onto the clothes they’re wearing. And based on a letter found in one of the pockets, they assume the Deedles are the recently hired park rangers who have come to deal with a prairie dog problem. Stew sees this as a perfect opportunity to prove themselves to their father and says they should just go along with it and pretend to be park rangers. Phil doesn’t want to at first, but changes his mind when he sees the attractive Lt. Jesse Ryan, played by A.J. Langer.
Not long afterwards, the boys are introduced to the main man in charge, Captain Pine, played by John Ashton. The Captain explains to the Deedles that the geyser, Old Faithful, will be celebrating her billionth birthday soon and if the unwanted prairie dogs aren’t gone by then, the ceremony will be ruined.
The Deedles realize that pretending to be rangers will be harder than they thought especially now that they actually have to come up with a way to rid the park of the pesky prairie dogs. Not to mention that in Mel and Mo’s letter, they mentioned that they only eat food from natural sources (i.e. shrubs, leaves, bugs, etc.) forcing the Deedles to find some way to eat real food without anyone else seeing. Other issues that arise include grueling early morning hikes and Phil falling in love with Lt. Ryan despite being told to stay away from her by Captain Pine who happens to be her stepfather.
Meanwhile in an underground tunnel near the park, we’re introduced to Frank Slater, played by Dennis Hopper. He was an ex-park ranger who felt betrayed by Yellowstone National Park and is the provider of the unwanted prairie dogs. He’s devised a system of underground tunnels through which the prairie dogs emerge in hopes of spoiling the upcoming birthday bash. And like most villains, he has two dimwitted yet evil enough minions helping him played by Robert Englund and Richard Lineback.
As the Deedles continue to find ways of fixing the prairie dog problem, they constantly end up annoying/bothering/harming Captain Pine in one way or another. Not to mention Frank Slater tries to kill them a couple of times when he realizes they’re messing with his plans although the Deedles are unaware of this.
But the jig is up for the Deedles when the real Mel and Mo, played by Ana Gasteyer and Megan Cavanagh, respectively, show up. Lt. Ryan, who has fallen in love with Phil, is hurt that Phil lied to her and Captain Pine is happy to get rid of the two. As they board a helicopter out of the park, one of Slater’s minions tries to shoot the helicopter resulting in Captain Pine falling into the rushing river below.
Phil and Stew then use their surfing skills to rescue Captain Pine. Afterwards, both Captain Pine and Lt. Ryan are grateful to the Deedles and decide to let them stay as rangers and be awarded official badges. However at the awards ceremony, Stew plans to unveil his newest plan to get rid of the prairie dogs, but unknown to him, Slater corrupted the plans to cause Old Faithful to stop gushing forth instead.
Phil and Stew are then kicked out of the park a second time, but decide they have to do the right thing and find out what went wrong. The soon come face-to-face with Slater who explains that he was behind everything and that his motive was to divert Old Faithful’s stream to another geyser to create his own Slaterstone National Park nearby driving business away from Yellowstone. Phil and Stew fight Slater off and manipulate his underground tunnel system to bring water gushing forth through Old Faithful again just in time for the billionth birthday bash! Captain Pine and Lt. Ryan are grateful to the Deedles (again), Lt. Ryan is back with Phil, and Slater is arrested.
Mr. Deedle is proud to learn what his sons have done and the Deedles create their own surfing destination, Deedlestone, nearby after a meadow was flooded.
And that was Meet the Deedles! It’s such a 90s movie trying to be one of those stupid comedy films! The content isn’t only stupid, but can get surprisingly inappropriate for a Disney film! The film was a box office bomb and it’s not hard to see why!
Is there anything good in this film? Well, Eric Braeden gives a performance that is way too good for this film like I’ve previously mentioned! John Ashton’s performance wasn’t too bad either. Paul Walker, Steve Van Wormer, and A.J. Langer were serviceable at best. And Dennis Hopper was surprisingly disappointing! I guess the best compliment I can give this film is that it’s not as frustrating as The Country Bears, but it’s still quite bad!
So, my final score for this film is 11/35 = 31.43% (F) !
The next review will be posted on April 2, 2019.
2 thoughts on “Meet the Deedles (1998)”
This film sounds, to me, almost like a cross between BILL AND TED and DUMB AND DUMBER (the latter of which I haven’t seen, but have heard about), based on what you’ve written. Therefore, memo to me: Avoid it at all costs.
That’s exactly the criticism the film got when it came out! People said how it was trying to be one of those types of films and they did mention Bill and Ted and Dumb and Dumber. Yes, stay away!