Directed by Walt Becker.
Written by Brad Copeland.
Starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H.
Release Year: 2007
Review Date: 3/17/07
Maybe I'm just ashamed to admit it, but not
only did I laugh during the trailer of "Wild Hogs" when I first saw
it a few months ago, but when I actually saw the movie this morning,
I laughed hard a few times during the movie, too. And overall,
it's the chemistry of the four big stars of the movie that make it
Four middle-aged guys are feeling the burn
of having shitty, boring lives and decide to take a road trip on
their motorcycles from Cincinnati to the West Coast. There's
Bobby (Martin Lawrence), who doesn't wear the pants in his family
but does get to wear the shit as a plumbing specialist in a
household where he often serves as the doormat; Dudley (William H.
Macy) is a computer programmer who couldn't talk to the ladies to
save his life; Woody (John Travolta) is recently separated from his
supermodel wife and is apparently bankrupt; and Doug (Tim Allen) is
that boring guy you know...a dentist--NOT a doctor--who has a loving
wife and a child who thinks his dad is a complete and total loser.
The foursome takes to the road to find adventure, gay cops (like
John C. McGinley, longtime character actor from "Scrubs"), a tough
biker gang led by an asshole (Ray Liotta), and a chili festival in
Madrid, New Mexico.
Even as I go through it in my mind, I am
having a hard time figuring out why I liked "Wild Hogs", but maybe
it's best to say this--I got the feeling that the four leads had a
good time hamming it up in a sophomoric road comedy, and that
chemistry works well as the four guys hang out on screen. Macy
is the funniest of the lot; his clumsy Apple-tattoo-sporting loser
has a great mix of physical comedy waiting around every corner, but
some of his dialogue is pretty funny, too. I normally don't
like Tim Allen on the big screen; of course, he makes that easy by
doing movies like "The Santa Clause 3", but he takes a bit of a cue
from his TV comedy days and then flips his over-the-top manliness
from "Home Improvement" to become a modern-day softy who has lost
his way. I'm not saying the acting is great, but I am saying
that the performance given the character as drawn up is perfect.
Lawrence and Travolta have played their respective characters before
and don't go out of their way to take up any more of their share of
the screen; strangely, all four of the parts are pretty equal and
don't allow for anyone's ego to stretch the role outside the lines.
Yeah, some of the comedy is lowball; yeah,
the persistent homophobia was strangely annoying to me, even if it
made sense to address it in a modern comedy (four men can't really
do anything any more--in the movies or not--without someone
pondering "Hey, are those dudes gay?"). Liotta does his best
to play the bad guy by constantly yelling at everyone; this is
funny, but not crazy funny. Personally, I love the idea of a
road trip because I love real road trips and traveling so much, so
that part of the story--take a week off and see something, for cryin'
out loud!--was great. The last ten minutes before the credits
roll don't work so well, and it becomes a little preachy, but the
idea to do an "Extreme Makeover" bit over the credits was quite
Overall, "Wild Hogs" inched over the line
for me into good territory; not the strongest $9.50 in the world,
but still, pretty funny stuff.
Rating: $9.50 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$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