Prayer Focus
Movie Review

The Dukes of Hazzard

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, crude and drug-related humor, language and comic action violence

Reviewed by: Bob Rossiter
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Genre:
Action, Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 46 min.
Year of Release:
2005
Featuring: Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds, Willie Nelson
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Producer: Bill Gerber
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem?

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Cousins. Outlaws. Thrillbillies.

What would a summer at the movies be like if we didn’t have any remakes of old TV shows? I’m beginning to think I would like to find out. The films don’t usually add any dimension to the series they portray. They are two entirely different entities that share the same title, and have many characters that have the same names. Beyond these two similarities the two can be, and usually are, vastly different. The same is true of “The Dukes of Hazzard,” so don’t go see this movie just because you’re old enough to have fond memories of the show.

All that said, let’s take a look at the movie on its own merits. Bo (Seann William Scott) and Luke (Johnny Knoxville) make a delivery of moonshine to Laurie’s house. Laurie invites Luke into the house for sex since “Pa’s not home.” We see Laurie half undressed through an upstairs window when her dad gets home. Luke falls out the same window, also half-undressed, and now Bo and Luke have to hightail it out of there in the General Lee before they get shot. This sets the stage for the rest of the movie with illegal activity, sex or car chases.

Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds) manages to take Uncle Jesse’s (Willie Nelson) farm, which puts more pressure on the Duke boys to win the upcoming race using the General Lee. This is an important race anyway because they have tied the record for four consecutive annual wins. Boss Hogg doesn’t want them to break the record so he hired Billy Prickett (James Roday) who was the previous record holder to come back and defeat the Dukes.

Bo and Luke then get suspicious. They feel something isn’t right about the land grabs Boss Hogg has made. In their search for answers, they find that he has plans to strip mine Hazzard for coal. The only thing that can stop him is if people show up and voice their opposition at the council meeting that conveniently went unannounced, and is being held the same time as the big race. On their way to warn the citizens about the strip mining project, the boys find out that Boss Hogg has kidnapped Uncle Jesse. Now they have to save Uncle Jesse, stay 10 feet ahead of the Georgia State Troopers (literally), win a race, rescue Hazzard from being strip mined, and find out how to stay out of jail because of their own illegal actions. The end is fast-paced, since all this needs to be done in about 15 minutes of movie time.

There was only one thing I really liked about this movie—the ’69 Dodge Charger. Yeah, I know many of the car jumps and racing were special effects, but the boy in me still likes to see fast, airborne cars. If you watch the show, stay for the outtakes. They show that the stunt drivers of that orange car weren’t paid enough. It’s just too bad that other parts of the movie didn’t live up to the name.

Many things made this film unfit for families. By the time the final credits are gone, there have been at least 100 obscenities or profanities, and this doesn’t include the three or four scenes of one-line dirty jokes told by Uncle Jesse (at least one of these was about bestiality), innuendo throughout, and implied sex. Luke makes a pass at another man on a college campus, and Bo talks about wanting to have sex with his car. Marijuana use is promoted twice. Once, Bo and Luke accidentally stumble into a smoke filled dorm room—and are more than happy to join in. In another, Uncle Jesse is visiting the “smokehouse” with the Georgia governor.

The worst part of the big screen version of “The Dukes of Hazzard,” however, has to be the abusive way it presented women. At least six scenes showed women dressed only in underwear or covered with a towel. The movie seemed to say that the only good purpose for women was to be used as sexual objects. I didn’t see one instance where a woman was portrayed as a positive role model. There was one woman who wasn’t a sex object, but they dressed her up like the bitter school marm from “Anne of Avonlea”. And in case you think I’ve forgotten, there is Daisy Duke herself (Jessica Simpson). In the movie version, the only reason for Daisy to have a part is to show skin and arouse men to get her way. When Bo and Luke started looking into Boss Hogg’s activities, she said, “You know what’s gonna happen. They’re gonna get caught and get thrown in jail. Then I’m gonna have to shake my a** at somebody to get them out.” Then Uncle Jesse replies, “That’s why we love ya, honey.”

My recommendation is that you save your money on this one. It isn’t a worthwhile movie for adults, and it definitely isn’t for kids. If you really want to see fast cars flying through the air, try the local flat track or monster truck rally. I think you will enjoy it more.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/nudity: Heavy

Year of Release—2005 / USA release: August 5, 2005 (wide).

Viewer Comments
Negative—I took my 12 year old son and one of his friends to see this movie. What a mistake! It was unlike the original family series, in that it had numerous amounts of sexual content/innuendos, and bad language was in virtually every scene, including using God’s name in vain. The original Boss Hog and Sheriff Roscoe were also better in the series. Drug use was also glorified in the movie. I regretted taking my son/friend and should have walked out. This is not a movie to take your children to!
My Ratings: Very Offensive/2
—David Luttrell, age 40
Neutral—This movie could have easily gone without all of the swearing that was in it, which was pretty heavy. In addition, this movie has several sexually suggestive scenes, with plenty of loosely-dressed women. There are two vague marijuana references, not explicitly mentioned, but is somewhat obvious.

Bo mentioned to the father of the daughter in the opening scene that he was a follower of Jesus, which the father thought was a good trait, one worthy enough to marry his daughter. Bo also mentioned later, after finding out a secret Luke had been keeping from him, that he was going to meet God his maker. The name of Jesus was used in both a good and bad context (once I believe).

The driving in this movie was awesome, featuring many cool stunt maneuvers and some drifting abilities. It also included many cool jumps, which only goes to show you that they don’t make cars like they used to. It also, at the end, shows some of the crashes that occurred during the filming, which was pretty wild. The racing through the city, and the race in the backwards country at the end was awesome.

One thing that was interesting was that they took the context of the show back in those days and placed it in the real world. On their way to Atlanta, several of the commuters made several remarks about the rebel flag on the roof, those that were in support of the south, and those that were condemning them. Though that gets into a whole another history issue about what the war stood for, I won’t touch that.

Overall, loved the driving, could have done without a good bit of the stuff in the movie. I don’t remember a lot of the original series to compare how the storyline kept up with the original series. Like I said, they put it in more of a modern context.
My Ratings: Offensive/4
—Brian Mains, age 27
Neutral—On one side, this film has a lot of sexual references in it as well as profanity and reference to incest (“kissin’” cousins) and drugs. On the other hand, it’s funny and action-packed though “Hazzard” purists might find it hard to swallow.
My Ratings: Offensive/3
—Shannon H., age 23
Positive—Going into this film, I didn’t have the highest expectations. I was expecting a B comedy with a fair degree of coarseness (having viewed the trailer), and plenty of slapstick laughs. That is exactly what this movie turned out to be. Yes, there’s swearing. Yes, there’s sexual innuendo. Yes, there’s a little violence. So no, this isn’t a kiddie movie. However, as adult movies go, it was pretty tame, and if you’re just looking for some silly comedy with plenty of bar fights and car chases, this is sure to deliver just what you’re looking for.
My Ratings: Average/4
—Nathan Gundlach, age 20
Neutral—I saw this movie with the expectation that it would be nothing like the series. I was right it was nothing like the series but it was still a fun movie. There are lots of laughs and cool car scenes with the General Lee. On a Christian perspective this movie has girls that are inappropriately dressed and seductive. There is also quite a few swear words. It’s kind of a toss up, good laughs, good action but enough inappropraite material to make some stay home. Use your judgment.
My Ratings: Offensive/3½
—Scott, age 31
Negative—…The sexual content is astounding! The profanity is in virtually every scene! Including using God’s name in vain. Marijuana use is in the movie. And if all that isn’t enough, the women are practically naked throughout the movie. I regretted wasting my money and ended up walking out about halfway through.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/2
—Janice Moore, age 57
Negative—This movie was incredibly boring. Morally, it wasn’t too bad. But there was little humor, and it didn’t have much cars in it, either. …
My Ratings: Average / 2
—Tim, age 18
Negative—I made the mistake of renting the Unrated version of this movie. I was very disappointed. It was the worst “unrated” film I’ve ever viewed. I had thought what I’d seen in other unrated movies was bad. This movie didn’t hold a candle to it. The constant cussing was a big turn off. As were Uncle Jesse’s crude jokes. Jessica Simpson has sold her faith in Jesus for all the money Hollywood has to offer her. This girl, you’d think, would know better than to prance around in low cut shirts and high cut shorts. Wrong. There was a scene where Luke says he wants to f___ his car. Excuse me?? The incessant need to use the f-word in this movie is ridiculous. There’s another scene in the dorms where Luke and Bo join a room full of girls who are topless. Don’t rent this movie. Unrated or rated, save your money. It isn’t worth your time to be offended at 2 hours of constant profanity, nudity, and drug use.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
—Sarah McGraw, age 25

Comments from young people
Positive—I found this movie to be very funny. It did have a lot of coments that would be consider offencive though. I am only 14, however I under stood every sexual comments in the film, as would any teenager today would. I do belive that showing this film to somebody 13-15 would have negative affect on them. If they go to school, or ever interact with people there own age they know about everything in this film. I would not recomend showing this film to someone 12 and under. This movie has only what is expected to be in any movie nowdays, swear words, women in bikinis or shirts and underwear, a little fighting, but not much more than that. I really liked this movie…
My Ratings: Offensive/3½
—Alyssa, age 14
Positive—…as a teenage girl I found the movie pretty good. It had great car stunts, a cool bar fight, and comedy. however as a CHRISTIAN teenage girl, it had a lot of profanity and the boys I was with (my cousins) said they didn’t like the way Daisy was portryed in the film. Her shorts are… well… short, and when she moves a certain way you can see bits of her rear end. When we were coming out of the theatre some guy overheard us talking about us being cousins, he started joking around with us in a very sexual way, much like in the bar scene when the guy who was hitting on Daisy starts talking to Bo about her. We eventually all got kicked out of the theatre cause my cousin punched him out. Again much like the movie. that showed me though how much people are influenced by these movies…
My Ratings: Offensive/4
—Charlie, age 15
Positive—I got one word to sum up The Dukes of Hazzard—YEEEEEE-HAAAAAA!! If you watch this movie, be prepared for high-speed car chases (because, that’s what the Dukes are best at), but also be on guard—the profanity is extreme—I lost count of how many times the characters used God’s name in vain, and just how many times they said the s-word, too. I suppose things like this are to be expected in today’s world, though… They also could have done without the blatant sexuality—Daisy was quite a provocative girl… I wish that wasn’t a focus of the movie. Let’s not forget the drug references, too… the Rastafarian sorority girls is what I have in mind. Parents, don’t take kids younger than 15-17 to see this movie. If you can overlook all that, you just might enjoy Dukes of Hazzard, much like I did (it was probably my favorite movie of the summer, to be honest.)
My Ratings: Offensive/5
—Clay Waters, age 15
Movie Critics
…It’s every bit as bad as you thought it’d be. Only worse…
—Christian Hamaker, Crosswalk
…uncomfortably crude… with enough profanity and sexual suggestiveness to make a grown man blush…
—Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
…a lame-brained, outdated wheeze…
—Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert
…Simpson… is not nearly as embarrassing as one might have expected…
—Chicago Tribune, Gene Seymour
…Yee-haw? More like yee-nah. …a shiny package that crashes hard… ‘Dukes’ is unnecessarily coarse or maybe just aggressively aimed at young men who will enjoy a trip through a college dorm where the women are wrapped in towels or practicing boxing in their underwear…
—Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
…It’s impossible to judge Simpson’s acting ability from this film, because she never really acts. As Daisy Duke, she stands bent at the waist and coos, turning the affair into one long calendar shoot…
—Bill Muller, The Arizona Republic
…Silly fun… No, no, no, it is not true that “Smokey and the Bandit” was awarded the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for drama. It only seems that way in retrospect while watching “The Dukes of Hazzard”…
—Ed Blank, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review