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Raunchy Wild Hogs Belongs in the Slop Bucket

  • Christa Banister Contributing Writer
  • 2007 3 Mar
  • COMMENTS
Raunchy <i>Wild Hogs</i> Belongs in the Slop Bucket

DVD Release Date:  August 14, 2007
Theatrical Release Date:  March 2, 2007
Rating:  PG-13 (for crude and sexual content, some violence)
Genre:  Comedy
Run Time:  100 min.
Director:  Walt Becker
Actors:  Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, Ray Liotta, Marisa Tomei

The going rate on a Hollywood mortgage must be on the rise the days as that’s the only plausible excuse for participating in a movie this bad. But I guess John Travolta, Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence must have really needed the money. Otherwise, no actor with even a shred of talent would sign on for a comedy so formulaic and decidedly unfunny.

Straight out of a bad sitcom with characters just as contrived, Wild Hogs is the story of four guys trying to escape from suburbia.  Woody (John Travolta) had the seemingly perfect life. Well, until his successful business went under, and his supermodel wife decided she wants a divorce. Doug (Tim Allen) is a dentist who’s struggling as a husband and father, particularly because his teenage son thinks he’s a total bore. Bobby (Martin Lawrence) is married to the polar opposite of a Proverbs 31 woman as his wife constantly belittles him, and the lone single guy, Dudley, (William H. Macy) is a computer nerd who can’t get a date if his life depended on it (my guess is the Apple computer tattoo on his forearm doesn’t exactly help his cause).

So instead of going the stereotypical mid-life crisis route and springing for a shiny red sports car, these guys gas up their Hogs for some male bonding – road-trip style. And of course, that’s when all the crazy hi-jinks begin.

Or not.

It doesn’t take long for the humor in Wild Hogs to make its way directly to the slop bucket. In what’s essentially a less sophisticated City Slickers meets Easy Rider, we’ve got crotch shots, leering gay cops and bulls chasing and flipping people in the air. (Are you laughing yet?) And if that wasn’t bad enough, we have to see William H. Macy’s backside way too many times.

Of course to keep the pretense alive that a plot actually exists, we’ve got the requisite conflict involving a real motorcycle gang called Del Fuegos that’s fronted by a tough guy named Jack (Ray Liotta) who isn’t exactly impressed by these aging poseur bikers.

And when you see the ending coming from a mile away as the guys attempt to save a charming small town from Jack’s shenanigans, the astute movie-goer will realize the writers missed an excellent opportunity here.

Instead of wasting time and energy on all the low-brow humor, they could’ve used the road-trip scenario as an entertaining vehicle for exploring how men deal with dissatisfaction in life, love and work. But instead, all we’ve got is a bunch of second-rate jokes and an unrealistic love connection (Paging Marisa Tomei:  Didn’t you win an Oscar once? Why so many thankless girlfriend roles these days?) that isn’t worth the price of admission, let alone the cost of admission and popcorn for anyone hoping for a fun night at the movies. 

AUDIENCE:  Teens and up

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  The guys’ male bonding often involves a lot of beer drinking.
  • Language/Profanity:  An abundance of profanities and crude language throughout, including some of a religious nature.
  • Sex/Nudity:  There are an abundance of lowbrow sex jokes (one involving online porn and bestiality) inadvertent homosexual come-ons and male nudity (bare bottoms are shown several times) 
  • Violence:  Mostly of the comic variety until the Del Fuegos motorcycle gang shows up and is determined to take the Wild Hogs down. Punches are thrown and the guys’ aging bodies are slammed.