"The Dukes of Hazzard"
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar ("Super Troopers").
Written by John O'Brien. Based on the series created by Gy
Starring Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson
and Burt Reynolds.
Release Year: 2005
Review Date: 8/8/05
Colleen, Jellybean and I went over to the
multiplex last Friday to check out "The Dukes of Hazzard."
Let's back up.
HOW CAN YOU "BACK UP?" YOU JUST
Well, here's what I mean--there was really
no good reason to go see "The Dukes of Hazzard", but I figured that
the Grants wouldn't have come with me to see "Sky High" or that
penguins movie, and with nothing coming next week, this was as good
a reason as any to go out and see a new flick. Plus, I did
love the TV show back in the day...so much so that I still remember
the coin bank my mom got for me that was shaped like the General
Lee, that bad-ass Charger, ugly orange but wicked fast.
So, why not? We've got the whole
gang--Luke Duke (Johnny Knoxville), Bo Duke (Seann William Scott,
back in familiar sidekick territory), Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson),
Daisy Duke (Jessica Simpson), and the "bad guys" like Roscoe P.
Coltrane (M.C. Gainey) and Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds). We've
got Hazzard County, site of more made-up backroads, dirt paths and
unfinished bridges than any single location in the history of
American television. We've got moonshine, we've got Daisy's
cutoffs, we've got car chases...we've got the General Lee.
The film version has a plot--something about
land and Hogg being dirty and soil samples and college co-eds--but
it's unnecessary, since all we care about is watching the Duke boys
barely skate their way out of trouble with some laughs, a little
music, and the insane car stunts...which director Jay Chandrasekhar
(he plays a campus cop in the film) handles fairly well. There
are some decent laughs, thanks to the man that is coming close to
redefining the second fiddle, Seann William Scott. I respect a
man that knows his limitations, and as a guy that plays silly
dumbass after silly dumbass, Scott currently has no peer.
Taking on roles as difficult as turning on your computer, Scott has
(arguably) made only one truly shitty film,
Monk"...otherwise, he has been money. From his trademark
role of Stifler in the "American Pie" series to bits in
"Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back", Scott is almost always on his
The other performers in "The Dukes of
Hazzard" add little to the overall product, most notably Simpson.
Here's my thing, and feel free to debate this with me until the sun
goes down: truly incredible body; shockingly scary face.
I mean scary. The kind of scary that actually kinda
freaked me out whenever she gave us the toothy Daisy Duke smile.
I think it needs to be addressed--what is wrong with Simpson's face?
I can't put my finger on it, but it is frightening. Maybe it's
the jawline? Maybe it's her square facial features?
Maybe it's her cheekbones? Shit, I can't figure it out for the
life of me, but seriously, not attractive. I never had her at
that Salma level anyway, but as the eye candy in "The Dukes of
Hazzard", I was scared every time the camera moved from the legs to
Hell Express, now boarding!
Anyway, the movie is otherwise just okay;
the car-chase sequences and the car stunts in general are quite
cool, I thought...my favorite was the extended drift sequence when
the boys are stuck in a traffic circle in downtown Atlanta, as
someone burned MAJOR rubber off of some tires as the General Lee was
drifting 'round and 'round in the midday sunshine. The
outtakes are also great, making me more and more angry that
Crashers" somehow bypassed doing an outtakes bit during its
credits. But otherwise, "The Dukes of Hazzard" is very
pedestrian, doing just enough to get by. I didn't get the
impression that we are destined for sequelitis, so at least I can
give it that...but still, just okay.
Dear Hollywood, could you please give me
some original product? Maybe something not based on a TV show,
comic book, popular novel or a popular flick from 30 years ago?
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard