The Dukes of Hazard


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" It would have been a huge service to the community to re-title this film Broken Lizard's Dukes of Hazzard, with the tag line "from the director of Super Troopers and Club Dread'.










The Dukes of Hazzard
The Masked Reviewer


A fast car, Southern hospitality, a purty girl, and enough redneck references to make Jeff Foxworthy seem like a subtle sophisticate. 

That's what you're in for in The Dukes of Hazzard, but if you are at all familiar with the TV show from many years ago (with Tom Wopat and Rob Schneider...or was it John Schneider?  Oh, whatever).  Running for 1979-1985, the television program was something that everyone who is currently in their 30's had to watch.  It was mandatory.  No one knows why. 

There were two reunion shows, although the second one done in the 90's was apparently unspeakably bad.  The Masked Reviewer doesn't know first hand's hard to imagine it wouldn't be. 

The film stars Johnny Knoxville and Sean William Scott as the two Duke cousins, one is Bo and the other is Luke.  Does any know or care which is which?  Did they have well-defined characteristics on the TV show?  The Masked Reviewer never understood why there were two of them in the first place.  They almost always rode around together.  Maybe one yelled YEE-HAW while the other was driving? 

Also appearing in the film are Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse and Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg.  Now, the people who are keen to see this film will probably fall into two categories: those who loved the TV show, and those who love one or more of the actors and think it's interesting casting.  Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse seems like it's got to be worth seeing, right?  The short answer is no.  The long answer is hell no.

The two leads (Johnny Knoxville and Sean William Scott Thomas) are both charismatic.  However, they definitely did "their own thing" with the characters.  If one had to guess why anyone liked the original TV show, it might be that the characters were likeable good-ol'-boys that never meant you no harm.   The movie seems to be sort of a "new look" but has absolutely none of the feel of the original, other than the same character names and, of course, the car.

Johnny Knoxville's Luke (or Bo) and Sean William Scott Anthony Michael's Bo (or Luke, whatever) have clearly defined character traits.  One is a womanizer, the other is creepily obsessed with his car.  They both put on thick accents that reek of redneck rather than Southern charm.  The trouble is that it's hard to tell whether they're doing a parody of the original show by making fun of everything that -- while not everyone's cup of tea, to be sure -- was lovingly done in the original.  Also, if this were a parody, one might expect it to be funny. 

The other performances in the film were unremarkable.  Except, of course, for Jessica Simpson -- this is her finest theatrical performance.  For her.  Isn't she from the south?  How could her accent sound so fake if she's from the south?  Anyway, none of that matters.  She's mercifully not given many lines.  Basically, she shows off her body four or five times as a plot device, and her body looks good.  Burt Reynolds is barely used and adds absolutely nothing.  Other support characters (like Enus and Roscoe P. Coltrane) were totally pointless.  Roscoe, for example, was nothing like his TV counterpart -- here he's mean and threatening, not goofy and incompetent.  Willie Nelson is completely wasted.  The writers apparently realized that they suck and rather than try to come up with bad dialogue for Willie, just had him telling old jokes.  One after the other.  That's his character.  "Hey, Uncle Jesse, we're going to lose the farm!" says Bo (or Luke), and Uncle Jesse responds "Why did the chicken cross the road?"  While these aren't actual quotes, that's the feel.

The humor falls flatter than Catherine Bach's back.  Some people in the theater liked it and laughed, but to put things in perspective, some people couldn't stop from yelling YEE-HAW at the top of their lungs every time they saw the General Lee (that's the orange car). 

The car is faithfully recreated, right down to the confederate flag on the top.  They did work the controversy surrounding the confederate flag into the script, so that's good.  The engine sounds good.  It jumps a few times (quite impressively, too).  And if you love power slides, you'll get your fill in this film. 

Oh, wait...they added a new character, some guy who lives in the woods and blows stuff up -- he wears armadillo helmets to keep out the space aliens.  That's the writer putting his own touch on things.

The director, Jay Chandrasekhar, also brought the world Super Troopers and Club Dread.  The latter film is also known as Broken Lizard's Club Dread.  Apparently "Broken Lizard" is a name he writes under.  So, if you were a big fan of  what Broken Lizard did on Super Troopers, you'd know that he also did Club Dread so you could rush out and see it.  It would have been a huge service to the community to re-title this film Broken Lizard's Dukes of Hazzard, with the tag line "from the director of Super Troopers and Club Dread."  That would have been good info to have, and the Masked Reviewer's readers deserve to know that.

There are only a few things positive to say about the movie, and here they are: there's a nice selection of songs on the soundtrack.  Jessica Simpson looks good in a bathing suit.  The car does a couple of big jumps.  The outtakes at the end are funny.

In fact, the outtakes are by far the best thing in the film.  It wouldn't be a stretch to say they're the only good thing in the film.  But, don't let that fool you -- it's not worth sitting through this thing to get to the outtakes.  The best way to see this film is to stop in right at the end, watch the credits, and leave.  Such a waste.  Johnny Knoxville and Sean Willam Scott Michael Clarke are both fun and engaging, but it goes to show you what horrible writing and sucky direction can do.  Everyone in this film could've done better -- even Jessica Simpson.  It's just plain stupid, but not entertaining stupid.  Some nudity would have helped a lot, but they didn't "go there".  A few testicle injuries would have helped too. 

One character said it best -- "Let me know if you're going to puke."  The same warning should have been issued to the audience.  


Expectation from the Title: When former KKK leader turned politician David Dukke decides to leave government, pack up his family, and dedicate himself  to handling toxic materials at industrial areas with environmental disasters, everyone learns a life lesson they won't soon forget.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  There were many catchy tunes on the sound track.

The Pros: A few nice car jumps, Jessica Simpson looks good, funny outtakes, Johnny Knoxville and Sean William Scott Phillip Michael Thomas are charismatic, but...

The Cons: Talent (and Jessica Simpson) are totally wasted.  Horrible, unfunny writing. Has none of the (limited) appeal of the original series.  NO CAMEOS BY THE ORIGINAL CAST -- at least someone had good sense.  Not even Coy or Vance Duke showed up for this one.

Sean Scott Thomas, Willy Nelson, Dukes of Hazard, General Grant, Stiffler, cameos.sucked

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