Friday, March 15, 2013

This Month In... 2007: "Wild Hogs"

3 weeks late is better than 4 weeks late.

Have Money, Will Travel

      Reviewing movies is a fairly easy job. You watch a movie, tell your thoughts on it and you're done. This, unfortunately, means however that those really bad movies everyone else can stop watching and forget about must be watched fully by a reviewer in order to give an accurate review. The reason this review is a week late is simply because this movie was so bad I honestly couldn't bring myself to finish watching it until yesterday. This is gonna be fun. Wild Hogs follows four friends, happily married Doug (Tim Allen, The Shaggy Dog), secretly divorced Woody (John Travolta, Old Dogs), push-over Bobby (Martin Lawrence, College Road Trip) and unlucky in love Dudley (William H. Macy, Shameless), who all have a mid-life crisis and decide to resurrect an old motorcycle gang of theirs, the Wild Hogs, obviously, and head out on the open road one last time. While there, they find themselves challenged by a rival motorcycle gang, the Del Fuegos, lead by Jack (Ray Liotta, Bee Movie) and Dudley falls for a waitress named Maggie (Marisa Tomei, Parental Guidance).

Pointing and laughing is the correct response.
Last Jokes for 100 Minutes

      There are a lot of reasons why this movie is so utterly awful. A lot of it is from lack of trying. No one here is giving anything by one of the most bored and uninterested performances of their career. Travolta tries, but he comes off worse than anyone else. The central idea of a comedy is to make you laugh. In order to do that, you need jokes and likable characters to deliver said jokes. Wild Hogs just doesn't have either. What Wild Hogs has goes directly in the face of all human decency and some rabbit decency as well. This is one of those movies where you are not even sure if the movies is attempting to make jokes. Funny faces and pratfalls, especially those off of motorcycles, do not make for funny jokes. They don't make for much of anything other than resounding thuds where the laughs should be. There is a funny moment. A singular one. It happens during the credits. The movies pulls off a fairly successful parody of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, back when that show was a relevant thing. it's a little funny. Nothing else is though. A cast like this should be funny. So why aren't I laughing?

Those Poor Suburbanites

      Maybe it's because the story is so poorly constructed and the fact that the characters are so unlikable. Dudley is inhumanly clumsy and is more a commercial for an insurance company than a person. Woody is so overplayed by Travolta that you wonder if he based the character off of Woody Woodpecker. Doug and Bobby, we are supposed to feel bad for because they are bored with their lives. Doug has a loving family and is well-off money-wise. Bobby is upset that his wife treats him like a woman, even though he took a year off from work and did nothing with it, forcing his wife to pick up the slack. The characters are straight-up jerks. They cause their own problems and often times other people's problems and we are supposed to side with them. I don't want to. I side with Bobby's wife. Partway through the movie, the get caught skinny dipping in a public lake by a family and get upset with the family's disgust. It's not like they were in a public lake, visible from the road. Oh, wait, they were. The story also takes a rather inane detour. The first half of the film is set up like a road movie. But once the Del Fuegos are introduced, the film parks itself in one solitary location for the rest of the film. It feels like the film gives up. The characters force a town to face off with a cruel motorcycle gang. And they are supposed to be the heroes. Are we sure they aren't the villains?

Yes, that was my reaction to this movie too.
The Verdict

      Wild Hogs is literally about as funny as being pelted by rocks for 100 minutes. None of the jokes work or even come off as jokes. The characters are at times downright despicable, often not only screwing things up for themselves but also for innocent people caught in their crossfire. They are supposed to be sympathetic, but instead, you feel like giving each one a good solid punch in the face after the movie is over with. On top of that, the film comes to a grinding halt partway through so the film can half a cliched face-off with some nasty bikers. The pacing is crap and the direction isn't much better. Wild Hogs is a movie you'd like to see barbecued, with a side of mashed potatoes. Wild Hogs gets a half a star out of 6. Next time on This Month In..., things begin to look a little cel-shaded.

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