Chicago Sun-Times - 10/11/2002
"...It makes good use of Diesel, who as he develops into an action superstar may not get roles this juicy for a while..."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 11/01/2002
"...There are some nice moments of incongruity in the travails of these urban hoods not quite home on the range..."
Matty (Barry Pepper) is the only son of Brooklyn mobster Benny "the Chains" (Dennis Hopper). Considered too sensitive for mob work, but unable to find a regular job, Matty finally gets a chance to join his dad's organization when he agrees to arrange transport of half a million dollars across the country. When it winds up lost in a small Montana town, Matty and his assortment of tough-guy pals (played by Andrew Davoli, Seth Green, and Vin Diesel) are forced to fly out there, tangle with the locals, and find the money before their disappointed elders come to get them, guns blazing.
KNOCKAROUND GUYS features stylishly washed-out, gritty cinematography and benefits from a refreshing lack of the expected "city folk stranded in a small town" gags. Instead it's a tale of identity crisis-plagued boys blasting their blood-soaked way into manhood, with the dependable Diesel easily stealing the prize with his turn as Matty's philosophic brawler pal. John Malkovich--sporting one of the weirdest Brooklyn accents in gangster film history--is also memorable as one of the older mobsters. It's the directorial debut for the screenwriting team of Brian Koppelman and Sid Levein, who before this penned the script for ROUNDERS.