Wild Hogs (2007)
|Genre(s): Adventure / Comedy|
|Touchstone || PG13 - 100 minutes - $29.99 || August 14, 2007|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-08-11|
Writer(s): Brad Copeland (written by)
Cast: Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, Marisa Tomei, Jill Hennessy, Ray Liotta, Stephen Tobolowsky, John C. McGinley
Theatrical Release Date: March 2, 2007
Comment on this and other movies on the message board!
Wild Hogs isn’t high brow comedy and plenty of critics turn their noses up (16% rating on RottenTomatoes.com) upon viewing it. I will even admit when I read the title and plot, I too scoffed at the idea that it was stupid and it would be an yet another box office failure for John Travolta. A funny thing happened leaving the theater on opening weekend: I actually enjoyed it! Go figure.
Yes, the plot is thin and their “adventure” is both stupid and filled with more clichés than an episode of “24” (OK, maybe I’m exaggerating). The filmmakers overcome this by casting four talented and funny actors, which is why Wild Hogs is funny and an overall enjoyable movie.
The plot follows four Harley-riding friends taking a cross-country adventure for the open road and freedom. Doug (Allen) is a husband and father growing older and in an unappreciated job; Woody (Travolta) is bankrupt after his model/wife leaves him; Bobby (Lawrence) plays second in the household to his overbearing wife; and Dudley is a software programmer (aka geek) who doesn’t know how to talk to women and can barely ride his motorcycle.
On their journey, they encounter a group of bikers called the “Del Fuegos”. In a series of circumstances, Woody accidentally blows up the Fuegos’ beloved bar and stir of ire of their leader, Jack (Liotta) who wants revenge on the “Wild Hogs”.
As a comedy, Hogs doesn’t break new ground nor does it compare to some of the more risqué material made popular by the teamwork of Judd Apatow and Seth Rogan (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad). However, as far as buddy/road trip comedies go, it works. All four actors are quite talented and they make a script that could’ve been worthy of only direct-to-DVD status and instead made it into a $100 million success that the general audience loved.
Tim Allen, John Travolta and Martin Lawrence are all funny in their own right but William H. Macy stole the show. Macy’s choices in projects usually are indie films (Magnolia, Panic, Fargo) but once in a while he does shake it up with the occasional Hollywood (potential) blockbuster like Jurassic Park III (and I’m talking about above title credit).
No, Wild Hogs is not the funniest movie of 2007 (hell, not even in the last two decades), but bottom line, it’s entertaining. There are plenty of eye-rolling clichés and Travolta goes a bit over-the-top at times, but I can overlook the flaws at the end of the movie and just smile. When a straight-up comedy makes you laugh, what more do you want?
Buena Vista puts together an OK selection of features; unfortunately, it seems they ignored the film’s strong suit: the cast.
Audio Commentary - Director Walt Becker and writer Brad Copeland sit down for an informative and active track. Although one with the cast would’ve been great, but Becker and Copeland offer some great information on the behind-the-scenes on the set and ideas cut from the script.
The Making of Wild Hogs (16:19) - This is under the long title of “Bikes, Brawls & Burning Bars: The Making of Wild Hogs, and sadly it’s your standard ‘making-of’ stuff with some interviews with cast and crew talking about making the movie (duh) and some behind-the-scenes footage. As I already mentioned, I think some kind of sit-down interview with the four guys should’ve been included, it’s not like the movie went in and out of theater unnoticed...
How to Get Your Wife to Let You Buy a Motorcycle (2:48) - Basically a how-to become a biker covering everything from talking to your wife to what gear to wear.
Rounding out the disc are a handful of deleted scenes (4:08) including an alternate ending (it includes one last cameo from John C. Reilly) and a sub-par set of outtakes (2:33).
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Wild Hogs is presented in anamorphic widescreen and everything looks crisp, clean and clear. This is a comedy so there’s not much to glean from the transfer. I noticed no dust or scratches so it looks like a fine transfer.
The audio is fairly standard and mostly is used with the motorcycle revs while the dialogue coming from the center speaker. Like the picture, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound is perfectly suitable for this movie.
Don’t go in expecting a “smart” comedy masterpiece. I’m happy to say it’s not as dumb as it looks and actually has some good laughs throughout. The DVD itself is suitable, though nothing notable. I had hoped Disney would’ve given more features about the four stars but as it stands, it’s OK.