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Movie Review: Wild Hogs

Wild Hogs
Directed by Walt Becker
Written by Brad Copeland

When I saw the trailer for Wild Hogs, I thought, “This might actually be good,” despite the presence of Martin Lawrence, Tim Allen, John Travolta, and the fact that the movie was called Wild Hogs.  OK, unfair, I guess: I’ve enjoyed those actors many times in different things, but at this point in their career they haven’t done anything that makes me say, “Let’s see it!”  Anyway, from the trailer, this looked like a comedic Easy Rider, or an offshoot of City Slickers.  What I found out was that the trailer editor has a better sense of comedy timing than the filmmakers did.

Four middle-aged men in a crisis: Woody Stevens (Travolta), whose wife just left him and his business is failing; Doug Madsen (Tim Allen), who once did things wild but has settled down…with Jill Hennessy (boy life is hard), playing his wife Kelly; Bobby Davis (Lawrence) has a dirty janitorial job and a bossy wife (Tichina Arnold); and Dudley Frank (William H. Macy) is a computer geek who can’t seem to talk to the ladies.  Time for a road trip, I’d say.

They all get on their motorcycles and ride West from Cincinnati hoping to hit the coast, getting into an adventure.  After a couple of stops, including one that has hilarious Scrubs actor John C. McGinley playing a psycho gay cop, they stop by a biker bar run by a gang known as The Del Fuegos, led by Jack (Ray Liotta), who believes in a code that he feels the four posers don’t live by.  Eventually, Woody does a really bad thing that has the Del Fuegos hunting them down as they enter the town of Madrid, where they settle for a little while, and Dudley finds the courage to talk to cutie waitress Maggie (eternally fresh-faced Marisa Tomei).

It’s here the movie becomes a bit like The Three Amigos, where they have to save the town from the evil gang, as the cops (headed by funny character actor Stephen Tobolowsky and twins Jason and Randy Sklar) play chicken.  Overall, this has some enjoyable moments but it never quite gets to a point where the movie hits the giddy spot and you’re left with a lot of disappointing scenes, especially when you consider the way the trailer was cut.  The scenes from the trailer don’t play nearly as well as the actual movie does, and there aren’t any scenes beyond the trailer’s that are really funny.

But it’s likely to find some sort of audience, who find the usual slapstick funny.  Just not for me. 


Comment from KW
Time: March 2, 2007, 10:22 am

“What is this, Amigos fall from the sky?”

Comment from Jonathan
Time: August 17, 2007, 10:48 pm

Just saw this; got it off Netflix out of morbid curiosity with its bonzo box office and critical hatred. Jesus Christ!!! While I didn’t think it would be good; I was shocked at how god awful it is. You nailed it: City Slickers meets Three Amigos without the humor; this makes the fairly unfunny Amigos look like a classic.
And what’s even more insulting is that they marketed this as a family film. That makes a lot of sense. Let’s take the kids to see a bunch of middle aged biker wannabe’s who are homophobic as hell, facing a midlife crisis, a divorce, and bankruptcy. I love when Disney tries to tackle serious subjects like this and put their own “Disneyfied” spin on it. It’s also a great lesson for the kiddies to let them know that when it’s 4 vs. 50 bikers (Disney Bikers granted, but still) they should take their punches to save a diner. I’m glad this is what Disney is teaching us is important in life. Good grief; what a horrendous piece of dog shit. Oh, I didn’t like it very much by the way. Wasn’t sure that got across.

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