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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.12%
Worth A Look: 30.3%
Average: 9.09%
Pretty Bad: 3.03%
Total Crap45.45%

6 reviews, 30 user ratings

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Wild Hogs
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by brianorndorf

"Yeah, well... so I like Travolta in spaz mode."
4 stars

I’m in a state of shock after watching “Wild Hogs.” There was an assured recipe for disaster in this attempt to address the comedic edge to the Average Joe’s mid-life crisis, especially considering some of the track records of the talent. Fortunately, “Hogs” appears to have one simple goal for itself: keep it silly.

Finding their lives have been swallowed by routine and disappointment, buddies Woody (John Travolta), Doug (Tim Allen), Bobby (Martin Lawrence), and Dudley (William H. Macy) decide to take their weekend hobby of riding motorcycles to the next level: a week-long road trip. Heading off to see America, the boys find only mishaps and accidents as they snake their way across the land. Their biggest offense is irritating the leader of a Hells Angels-like gang (Ray Liotta, in scenery-chewing Ray Liotta mode), forcing them to take refuge in a tiny New Mexico town, where they find love (Marisa Tomei), friendship, and the motorcycle gang right on their tail.

On paper, “Wild Hogs” looks to set up residence as a complete nightmare. It’s a mass-marketed Disney production, featuring a juicy lesson on lost dreams that is ripe with melodrama, recent laugh school dropouts Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence, and direction by Walt Becker, the man who gave the world “Van Wilder.” Wouldn’t you be frightened too?

Somehow, “Hogs” isn’t a torture device; in fact it’s pretty amusing when it puts its mind to it. Credit goes to Becker for keeping the air around this film breathable with his deep focus on the intrinsic goofiness of watching these actors play butch for 90 minutes. It’s a lighthearted slapstick romp, and Becker doesn’t back down from the challenge, dishing up healthy spoonfuls of road trip sight gags, the actors in various hues of panic as they dodge trouble throughout the heartland, and their repeated comedic attempts to loosen up their stuffy lives through skinny dipping and camping. It’s not “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie,” but when a bloated mainstream comedy title such as “Hogs” can execute a joke well, an angel gets its wings.

Of course, I could’ve done without the insistence on gags involving poop-filled baggies and crotch wallops, the usage of a cartoon frying pan clobber sound effect, and some facial smacks that are too easily telegraphed. Becker isn’t perfect here, but credit should be given where it’s due and “Hogs” is a funny film; it carries itself around with a cheerful spirit, only looking to please. That commitment to entertainment goes a long way to blotting out the lesser moments of cheeseball pratfalls and underlying homophobia that keeps the experience at arm’s length.

For the performances alone, Becker deserves high praise. Without the burden of anchoring the whole endeavor, Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence actually come across as charming. That spit-take of disbelief you heard was me when Lawrence managed a single comical moment where he dresses down the rival gang with some beer and liberal usage of two ketchup and mustard squeeze bottles. I forgot Lawrence had it in him.

It’s John Travolta and William H. Macy who steal the film. This is the loosest Travolta has been in some time, and he looks like he’s really having fun here as the Hog with the least to lose. His nervous reactions to the escalating threat are the film’s highlights. Macy leans into the comedic potential of the material as well, really digging his heels into the tech-nerd personality contrasted with the leather-bound bike god. While not always a scream, Macy puts in an incredible effort here, and even some nudity. Ya know, for the ladies.

“Wild Hogs” doesn’t possess a single frame of cleverness, but in Brad Copland’s (“My Name is Earl,” “Arrested Development”) script, the broad comedy is respected and embraced instead of used as a crutch. Once the third act came and went without much of a protracted stab at an overall message (oh, I don’t know, something like “I didn’t ride that bike, the bike rode me”), it was clear that “Wild Hogs” was somewhat special. It may not always land the perfect joke, but it never stops trying either.

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originally posted: 03/03/07 03:58:51
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User Comments

4/08/10 Jeff Wilder Not as funny as it thinks it is. But better than the dismal RV. 3 stars
1/31/10 Reality of Films Hilarious! 5 stars
7/19/09 Monday Morning Disappointed that no Eskimos or Aborigines were represented. Woulda been funnier. 3 stars
8/21/08 Shaun Wallner This ones ok. 3 stars
6/03/08 mike watched this on starz last night. thought it was pretty funny. why so harsh on this one? 4 stars
4/19/08 mr.mike Has its moments but considering the cast should have been funnier 3 stars
3/10/08 aaron great 5 stars
2/04/08 Matt Not very clever. Not very funny. Not very imaginative. No wit involved. Boring. 2 stars
10/15/07 billy dardy mate this is by far the best movie ive ever seen u need to wake up to your self 5 stars
10/15/07 fools♫gold I spent a fifth of the flick laughing, but it wasn't enough. 2 stars
8/31/07 Unables Light, slapstick humor, a few good laughs. 4 stars
8/24/07 edmond leung I love this movie. Very origianl, very funny. 4 stars
7/03/07 William Goss Petty, pandering, predictable, juvenile, soul-crushing, and laugh-free to boot. 1 stars
6/21/07 Nick Funny the whole time! finally a movie NOT for the wayans-generation 5 stars
5/16/07 Dave lame 1 stars
5/09/07 David Pollastrini More like "Old Hogs" 3 stars
5/01/07 Alice Loved it! Best comedy in years! Thumbs up! 5 stars
4/27/07 Tjode Cole This movie was the best ever. Loved it it was so funny!!! 4 stars
4/25/07 Frida Awesome movie. My family and I loved watching wild hogs can't wait till its out on DVD 5 stars
4/20/07 randy Ok lets ride down the road and act cowardly and stupid while we suffer a mid life crisis, a 1 stars
3/26/07 Annielady Just saw Wild Hogs - my husband and I loved it!!! Very funny and enjoyable!!! 5 stars
3/19/07 Dave I actually go see movies the critics don't like. they are always the best. 4 stars
3/14/07 Sarah I really liked it. It is mindless, but funny! 4 stars
3/13/07 Luisa I thought it was funny... 3 stars
3/11/07 Jason $25 for a vice? Come on I bought mine for $15 two years ago. ` 1 stars
3/08/07 Mark Gambardella I laughed from the opening seen to the end. It was a fun, silly movie for all baby boomers 5 stars
3/06/07 Ann Mossey I enjoyed its lighted hearted "romp" throughout..witih one exception...enough with the poop 4 stars
3/05/07 Ken Komnick This film was funny. I was pleasantly surprised. 4 stars
3/05/07 Joe Kovac I'd strap myself to the exhaust of the next space shuttle launch rather than see this again 1 stars
3/04/07 Todd Just burn $25, then crush your nuts in a vice. It'll be less painfull than this "Comedy" 1 stars
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  02-Mar-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Aug-2007

  13-Apr-2007 (12A)
  DVD: 27-Aug-2007

  08-Mar-2007 (M)

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