My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Hog Wash

Review of Wild Hogs from Day and Night magazine in today's Irish Independent

Leaving the screening of Wild Hogs, I had to ask myself just how this movie became Disney’s biggest March opening ever, raking in almost $40m in its opening weekend. It’s certainly not down to its wit and charm so the only explanation left is that the baby boomer audience is crying out for stories that reflect their middle aged experiences. Lord help them if this hackneyed biker comedy is the only outlet they have.

Four fifty-something friends decide to cast off the shackles of their humdrum, suburban lives and take to the road on their motorbikes to recapture some of their youth. There’s the sensible one (Tim Allen), the hectored one (Martin Lawrence), the too-cool-for-school one (John Travolta, naturally) and the nerdy one (William H.Macy). While resting in New Mexico, the ‘Wild Hogs’, as their gang name goes, run afoul of the nasty nikers, the Del Fuegos (led by the effortlessly menacing Ray Liotta), who they are later forced to confront in a climactic display of slapstick violence and corny life-lessons.

It’s strange that Wild Hogs flounders so much given the comedic talent of (most) of the main stars, as well as of the writer Brad Copeland, one of the head scribes on the brilliant TV sit-com Arrested Development. A major problem lies in the script’s over-reliance on pratfalls and achingly predictable gags, where no gross-out, nude or homophobic stone is left unturned.

Even more detrimental is the at-times embarrassingly strained camaraderie between the four leads. Were these guys ever in the same room together before shooting began? Of them all, William H. Macy has most fun and if this were a just universe, he’d be the biggest star on the planet. Liotta also adds some spark, as does the eternally under-used Marisa Tomei in a late supporting role.

Despite everything, Wild Hogs does provoke a few laughs and I guess it can be forgiven for not pretending to be anything other than it is. But considering its above-average comedic pedigree, it’s a pity that such a sow’s ear was made of a potential silk purse.
Rating: 2/5
Declan Cashin

No comments: