Reviewed by: Bob Rossiter
|Featuring:||Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds, Willie Nelson|
|Distributor:||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?
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).