a critiQal film review Wild Hogs (2007)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: Four friends, determined to escape the stress of their daily lives, and longing to once more taste the freedom of the open road, take a cross-country motorcycle trip, only to find it takes more than leather jackets to truly experience the biker lifestyle.

585 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 55s)

Heather had wanted to see Wild Hogs back when it was in theaters, but I wasn’t so sure. The idea of a biker comedy didn’t really appeal to me, and the trailers made this look to be one of those gag films – comedy based on poking fun at these idiots trying to be bikers, something that didn’t sound so appealing.

So we waited, and finally ended up renting it on DVD. Would Heather be right, and Wild Hogs would turn out to be a hilarious ride, or would this one fall flat?

The 4 main characters definitely fit the fish-out-of-water vibe the film is aiming for – unfortunately, rather than that being confined to not fitting in with the bike scene, the characters all seem to be off their comedic strides as well.

Tim Allen, whose high comedic point in seems to be far behind him, is just the first of those. Other than the Santa Clause films (and of course lending his voice to the Toy Story films), his roles have gotten less funny as time goes by. Galaxy Quest was a high point, but follow-ups like Jungle 2 Jungle, and now Wild Hogs showcase him at his unfunniest.

John Travolta, who made a comeback in ’93 with Pulp Fiction, shows again why he slid into the Look Who’s Talking abyss prior to that with his appearance in Wild Hogs. He’s singularly unfunny in the film, and at times, even highly irritating.

Martin Lawrence, aside from his stand-up performances, apparently needs a good actor to work with in order to make him look funny. Since all of the other actors in Wild Hogs are way off their game, he doesn’t have that to fall back on here, and his jokes fall as flat as the rest.

Even William H. Macy and Ray Liotta put in disappointingly bad performances in Wild Hogs, to the point where viewers are near tears seeing how far they’ve fallen since Fargo and Goodfellas, respectively. Especially William H. Macy, whose bumbling incompetent in Fargo seemed so easy for him, yet his Wild Hogs performance – as another incompetent bumbler – seems so forced it’s almost painful to watch.

With the actors obviously way off their game, it’s up to the storyline and the minor characters to try to save Wild Hogs. Aside from a rather hilarious – though incredibly stereotypical – performance by John C. McGinley as a gay police officer, the minor characters don’t do a bit to help, and are easily forgotten.

As for the storyline, well, far-fetched doesn’t quite sum it up. 4 men facing a mid-life crisis decide to take to the road for a motorcycle road trip, anger a degenerate biker community, and end up in a town small enough that the police look the other way as the bikers descend on the men. Of course, since the film is a comedy, the 4 men win the day in the end, and are supposedly the better for it. I

It’s a ridiculous set-up, but with actors more on their game and less forced comedy, the film may have had a chance. As it is, it’s only redeeming quality is John C. McGinley, and he isn’t around nearly enough to make the rest of the film worth sitting through.

So, you want to see John Travolta, Tim Allen, William H. Macy and Martin Lawrence in a comedy? Forget Wild Hogs and check out (Travolta), (Allen), Fargo (Macy) and Martin Lawrence: runteldat (Lawrence doing stand-up). You’ll be glad you did.

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