Sunday, July 22, 2007
— The Dukes of Hazzard
The Dukes of Hazzard last night. This is the 2005 film starring Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, and Jessica Simpson… with all that implies.
First up, it wasn’t that bad. (It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t that bad.) Knoxville and Scott had some genuine rapport, Simpson was acceptable, and Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg was adequately smarmy and a whole lot nicer to look at that the actor from the TV show. It was a tickle to see Lost’s M.C. Gainey (“Tom Friendly”) as Rosco P. Coltrane. And Lynda Carter: how can you go wrong with Wonder Woman?
The car scenes, of course, were where the film really shined, as it had to. Toparaphrase Superman, “You will believe a car can fly.” (Although I’m not sure whether the blooper scenes of the failed jumps tearing the car to bits were a good thing to include. They took some of the magic out of things.)
It was also nice to see every last little bit and running joke from the old show rear its head: Flash, Cletus, referring to Enos as a “dipstick”. That made it feel like an actual continuation of the old show, rather than something with just the bare trappings, as is too often the case.
But the less good? Willie Nelson would have been adequate as Uncle Jesse, but the constant play of bad jokes and riddles? What was up with that? And while I welcome a bit more authentic speech in the language, the crew apparently took the PG-13 rating they were going to have and embraced it a bit too whole heartedly, ending up just this side of foul mouthed. (Although from the deleted scenes, they appear to have trimmed back from what would have got them an R rating.) Oh, and tell me again how they got the farm back?
(Oh, I see: the governor pardoned the boys and Uncle Jesse, which must have reversed the seizure and sale of the farm to Boss Hogg. Would have been nice to actually explain that, though! And I’m not sure it would work. The farm was probably seized and sold under RICO guidelines, since such property sale can occur independent of a trial and its outcome. Perhaps the state would have had to compensate Jesse for the improper seizure, and either coerce Boss Hogg into restoring it [and reimburse him the 35 cents he paid for it, per one of the extra scenes] or give him the money to buy it back, which might not bee too expensive given that Hogg didn’t want the farm without the mineral rights.)
Mostly, though, the Duke boys were… inept. These weren’t Good Ol’ Boys, these were Dumb Ol’ Boys. I don’t remember Bo and Luke on the original show being quite this bad. Seann William Scott especially played the role of Bo overly dumb.
In the end, mindless fun. Just like the TV show always was.