Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wild Hogs (2007) [PG-13] *

City Slickers was one of the best road-trip buddy films ever made, and Wild Hogs tried, without success, to copy that film's formula. If you recall City Slickers, you can find its characters and plot in Wild Hogs. Billy Crystal's role as Mitch the family man who needs a time-out - that's Tim Allen. Patricia Wettig's role as his supportive wife - that's Jill Hennessy. Bruno Kirby's role as the tough guy with the lingerie model wife - that's John Travolta. Daniel Stern's role as the henpecked husband with the domineering wife - that's been split between Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy. Stern's love interest Bonnie, played by Helen Slater - that's Marisa Tomei. And Noble Willingham's role as cattle rancher Clay Stone - that's local sheriff Stephen Tobolowsky.

The cattle drive to Colorado in City Slickers, featuring loco trail hands, thunderstorm, stampede, flash flood and calf rescue - that's a menacing motorcycle gang that threatens to tear up a picturesque town. And the tough-on-the-outside but good-hearted trail boss, the role that earned the great Jack Palance a Supporting Actor Oscar - that's motorcycle gang leader Ray Liotta.

Uniquely, for the generation that remembers the classic motorcycle road film Easy Rider, one of the small pleasures of Wild Hogs is the cameo by Peter Fonda, as Ray Liotta's character's father, an aging biker trying to keep biker traditions alive.

Wild Hogs has plenty of acting talent. Its biggest problems are screenwriting and directing. Writer Brad Copeland's main writing credits are three TV comedy series: Grounded for Life, Arrested Development and My Name is Earl. Director Walt Becker has only two previous credits: Van Wilder and Buying the Cow. Both are teen movies featuring crude humor and male nudity. In short, if your taste runs to entertainment like My Name is Earl and Van Wilder, you will enjoy Wild Hogs. Otherwise I would pass. 

Labels: action, adventure, comedy   
Internet Movie Database    
Metacritic 27/100    
Tomatometer (critics=15, viewers=72)    

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