The Dukes of Hazzard Reviews
- Willie Nelson
- the bar fight scene
- the soundtrack
other than that, it's a lousy adaptation of a beloved TV series. Burt Reynolds' performance as Boss Hogg was completely dull and Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke - she did nothing except give the audience blue balls and she had no chemistry with any of the other actors
The main problem here is the fact that The Dukes of Hazzard was a TV show primarily for kids. It was light-hearted and had the same kind of theme as other classic TV shows like The A-Team, Knight Rider and Airwolf. This new film takes that kind-hearted approach and throws it out of the window to make room for a new crude, vulgar version with tits and ass.
I will admit that at times the film is good fun, the massive car chase sequence at the end is a tornado of great stunts that is tremendous fun to watch. Much like the classic car chases in 'The Blues Brothers' its amazing to see the famous Dodge Charger hurtle down the freeway and leap higher and farther than ever before. Unfortunately this is about as fun as it gets for both thrills and whimsical retro goodness.
The rest of the film really is a nasty cheap-ass pile of stereotypical cliches in a bad straight to DVD National Lampoon's kinda way. The main casting of Knoxville and Scott as Bo and Luke was terrible and gave the game away immediately as to what direction the film was going in. Even Simpson as Daisy was a bad choice, your everyday boring over-tanned blonde Barbie doll wannabe with luminously bleached teeth.
Yes she was sexy in her tight Levi cutoffs and lets be honest this character ain't here for intellectual conversation, but she was also vacuous with no character whatsoever. The bad casting continued with Reynolds as Boss Hogg who had no presence in the film at all. Just a big name for the advertising and a very weak performance.
Overall its a very mixed bag as there is some nice car porn in here but quite simply its a very bad adaptation of the TV show. Seeing the old General Lee zoom around is the most enjoyment you're gonna get outta this...if you grew up with the show that is (or you're a petrolhead).
Shame they also had to drag the modern day PC bandwagon into the fray. They just had to include present day politics didn't they, couldn't let that go, exactly why this should not have been set in the present day. Not to be taken too seriously of course but you know deep down the original TV show is slightly frowned upon these days *groan*.
Unfortunately this is a rather sour spin on the TV show and spoils its good name. Chock full of needless cameos, way too glossy, hints at soft porn, crass and with added toilet humour. Basically its 'American Pie' and 'Jackass' injected into a much loved old TV show which is totally unacceptable frankly.
This is exactly what Stiller and co didn't do for their classic TV show adaptation and look at the difference in quality. Don't show this to your kids and avoid yourself.
I figured that considering the fact that the three leads in The Dukes of Hazzard are all famous for being high profile stars from the MTV era, it was unlikely that the film would stay true to the source material. Substituting the 70's and 80's charm of the original show for a contemporary comedy style clearly aimed towards the MTV crowd essentially ensures that as being a film, it betrays its fans. Any film adaptation of a tv series that disrespects its fans is annoying in my opinion, but I was less likely to judge The Dukes of Hazzard based on the fact that I never folllowed the series. However, as a fan of Smokey and the Bandit I had an apprecation for the kind of thrills that it offered and I knew for a fact that this remake did not come close to capturing that theme and went at a way more commercial angle. The 2005 adaptation of The Dukes of Hazzard does not capture that energy at all and serves strictly as a star vehicle for Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott and Jessica Simpson without giving them enough material to support it to the end.
The Dukes of Hazzard is an overly commercial film. It takes the name of a series with a high profile fan base and turns it into nothing more than an MTV cash grab without even being funny enough to make any sort of impact. Despite some of the cast members pulling in a certain level of cun, there is nothign around them to help out. With John O'Brien's weak screenplay failing to capture the spirit of the original series and Jay Chandrasekhar's directorial work ensuring that it is a film which can barely differentiate itself from the majority of his other comedy films. I mean, this film changes the time frame of the story to a modern day setting which nobody is really interested in, so it has slim to no relevance to the television series that inspired it.
One of the central gimmicks of the original show The Dukes of Hazzard would have been its car chases, but in the film adaptation they just don't do the job. While the scenery for the film and the look of The General Lee give the film a certain visual edge, the car chases themselves don't actually benefit the film much at all. The comic value in them is minimal because any attempts at humour that they make are way too watered down, and the stunts themselves are just not impressive. They fail to match the comic value of the car chase movies from the 1970's and they lack even the slightest exhileration to warrant comparing them to the car chase films of modern day like the Fast and the Furious series. The car chases in the film are tacky, not funny enough or action packed enough to make any sort of valid impact on the film which basically symbolizes the fact that The Dukes of Hazzard fails to achieve success in terms of action of comedy.
But like I said, some of the cast members in The Dukes of Hazzard bring some energy to the feature.
Seann William Scott leads The Dukes of Hazzard with his standard persona. He barely even tries to capture the spirit of his character and instead just goes for the gimmick of cheap laughs. And for fans of his, he succeeds to a limited extent. There is only so much he can do in the film, but viewers are likely to get a certain sense of entertainment out of seeing his immature antics hold the screen in a stupendous movie like this. His energy keeps the film alive, and his chemistry with Johnny Knoxville ensure a certain amount of laughter is bound to exist.
Johnny Knoxville is also hilarious. Falling back on his stereotypical comic style, Johnny Knoxville goes over the top with his comedic energy in The Dukes of Hazzard. The film benefits from seeing him get thrown around, smashed into walls and smashed in the face with a phonebook all because he is the leader of the Jackass crew and therefore is welcome in nearly any comedy film, except Men in Black II. Johnny Knoxville makes a hilarious duo with Seann William Scott and the two of them really benefit off each other, bringing some level of life into the film, however minimal it may be.
For Jessica Simpson's film debut, The Dukes of Hazzard takes nothing from her but her sex appeal and tries to milk that for all it can. They go a certain distance in achieving a certain level of eye candy, but underneath that she really has no charisma. While her cover of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" is a decent touch to the soundtrack, the role she plays in The Dukes of Hazzard is being a member of the cast, but she really has no spirit in the role. She steps into it in a believable manner, but she fails to capture the nature of the character that is Daisy Duke and just ends up as a bland character.
Burt Reynolds is an interesting casting choice for the role of Boss Hogg. Famous for playing the role of Bo "Bandit" Darville in the 1977 comedy classic Smokey and the Bandit, it is interesting to see him on the other side of the law. While the role doesn't demand much from him, the simple presence of Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit brings a sense of nostalgia to the film which makes it enjoyable. It is fun to see him active in a mainstream film again, even in such a basic role in a lacklustre film.
The presence of Willy Nelson is also befitting.
But despite the presence of some talented cast members, The Dukes of Hazzard wastes their time and insults fans of the original television series with a laugh free script and poorly conceived car chases.