Saturday, July 30, 2005
Review of 'The Dukes of Hazard'
I just came back from a sneak-peak of Dukes of Hazard. (Of course I have major insider Hollywood connections.) Two words…. Car Porn! Everything else was a huge disappointment. Here’s the breakdown.
The General Lee: The car was excellent. The sound of the engine, the sweet horn, and the dirt kicked up by the tires was worth ever penny. Almost needed a cold shower after a few scenes.
The Chase Scenes: I guess this falls under the General Lee category, but the scenes were well done. You could tell they tried to match up a few shots with some of the more famous chase scenes from the TV show. The only mistake was the music chosen during the scenes. Yes AC/DC kicks ass, but they do not go well with the Dukes in a car chase.
Daisy Duke: She was an intelligent and beautiful woman in the show, and Jessica Simpson kept that going in the movie. Yes, Jessica Simpson and ‘Intelligent’ don’t always jive well, but she actually pulled it off. Oh, and her wardrobe wasn’t all that bad either.
Hazard County: It looked like a real nice town as opposed to the obviously fictional Hollywood set it once was. Finally, a believable small Georgia town.
The Bad: (Where to begin?)
Bo and Luke Duke: The TV characters were once mature, intelligent, and respectable people who always found themselves in bad situations. The movie characters were young, dumb, and dirty troublemakers who did nothing but screw, curse, and do everything possible to get into trouble. It was pretty sad to think that the kids watching the movie will forever think of Bo and Luke as idiot hicks, or as Luke preferred, “Appalachian Americans.”
Boss Hog: The original Boss Hog was a fat, lovable, but conniving man who loved his food and his money. Burt Reynolds portrays him as a skinny, evil capitalist who would kill babies and small fur-bearing animals if they stood in his way.
Roscoe P. Coltrane: Who in the hell was this guy? I used to like Roscoe. He had likable traits, and was genuinely a nice guy/bad cop. The new Roscoe was a mean, evil, and unwatchable bad cop. This guy was nothing like the original.
Uncle Jesse: Don’t get me wrong…I like Willie Nelson. I just don’t like the fact that he turns the honorable uncle Jesse into a moronic pot head and absent-minded veteran. Did any of the movie’s writers or producers ever watch the show? Even once? Willie did have a few good jokes, but that was it. He was painful to watch up on the screen.
The Music: Once again, gotta love Willie Nelson, but his rendition of the Duke’s theme song royally sucked. And as mentioned before, Classic Rock and Alternative music do not belong in a chase scene. Whatever happened to the great chase music from the show. Believe it or not, but fast and dirty country music with a hard playing banjo made great action scene music.
The Politics: The Confederate Flag on the General Lee was a source of several jokes. While driving through Atlanta the Dukes were labeled racist by whites and blacks alike. When Bo and Luke realized that a Confederate Flag had been painted on the roof of their car they shook their heads in disbeleif. There was another scene with (sadly portrayed) gangster thugs confronting the Dukes about the flag. Not funny at all.
Conclusion: The first half of the movie was astonishingly bad. I can understand why we were all checked for recording devices before entering the theater. The studio didn’t want the truth to get out prior to them making back the cost of movie.
The second half was OK. I loved the car scenes and a few of the jokes, but I’m a General Lee psycho fan who has loved that car with a passion for decades, so I’m a bit biased. Yes, I even cringed when the car was damaged time after time. Surprisingly the car gets smashed up quite a bit, but that’s mainly because Bo and Luke sucked and couldn’t keep the thing on the road like the TV characters could. Seriously, Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville were nothing but immature frat boys who couldn’t drive... basically playing themselves.
Overall the movie was sad. Ben ‘Cooter’ Jones was right… they took a great show and turned it into a ‘Road Trip’ for dumb hicks….or as they said, “Appalachian Americans.”
I'm not even going to rate it on my 'Movies Are Like Liquor' scale. I don't want to bring the highly regarded, non-partisan process to such lows. Go see the movie for the car, but don’t expect much of anything else.
I'm sticking to the original series and cast.
posted by El Capitan at 5:53 PM
I've now seen two of the Duke's TV cars on display. One at a Wisc Car Museum and one at Leipers Fork, TN and I can't remember the name of that place. Both places also have the police car of Barnie Fief's. Got nothing else to contribute since I don't know if I EVER watched the Dukes on tv. Prolly not. :)1:31 PM
C'mon Toni, you know you were a big fan of the show back in the day. Just don't want to admit it ;o)2:01 PM
I have just seen the movie on DVD for the first time. I whole heartedly agree with your opinion of the movie. The characters where no where near the original "Good ole boys" cast. The General has always been a personal favorite of mine as far as cars go. The chase seens including the awesome drift scene in atlanta around the turnabout [which was actually filmed in new orleans] were awesome.11:40 PM