THE DUKES OF HAZZARD
Foul-Mouthed Redneck TV Remake
Release Date: August 05, 2005
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Seann
William Scott, Jessica
Simpson, Burt Reynolds, and
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Rating: PG-13 for sexual content,
crude and drug-related humor,
language, and comic action
Runtime: 102 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Executive Producer: Bruce Berman, Dana Goldberg,
Eric McLeod, and Greg
Producer: Bill Gerber
Writer: John O'Brien
Address Comments To:Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros., Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Johnny Knoxville (of MTV’s JACKASS) and Seann William Scott play Bo and Luke Duke, cousins who routinely harass and get harassed by the Hazzard County Commissioner Boss Hogg, played by Burt Reynolds. Boss Hogg condemns their Uncle Jesse’s property because he runs a moonshine still, so Bo and Luke set out to get back the family land. During their mission, they uncover a massive scheme: Boss Hogg is condemning as much land as he can so that he can strip-mine Hazzard County and become rich. Now Bo and Luke have to break up the dastardly plan before Boss Hogg’s men throw them back into jail.
Although the television series has been called family friendly, the movie adaptation is aimed for the same audience who enjoyed last year’s crude, drug-fueled comedy HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE. There is plenty of foul language, lots of jokes about and references to sex, and gratuitous shots of women in their underwear, not to mention Jessica Simpson in the series’ famous “Daisy Duke” shorts. Also, Bo and Luke smoke marijuana in one scene glorifying drug use. The M.O. for these characters is, “Do what feels good.” They appeal to no higher authority than themselves and what they think is right.
DUKES isn’t desirable in any way, however, as most of the gags are pathetically uninspired and predictable. Most of the humor is insipid, straightforward bathroom humor. The plot is unintelligible, a little of which is forgivable for a dumb comedy like this one, but it looks like the filmmakers didn’t even try. One can imagine seeing this movie in the middle of the night on Comedy Central in a couple years.
The movie’s depiction of the South is annoying, too. Several scenes take place in Atlanta, and, writing this review from Atlanta, we rarely meet people who speak with the deep fried, Foghorn Leghorn drawls that nearly every character in this movie uses. (Jessica Simpson’s accent might be the phoniest, and she is actually from the South.) Here, Southerners are still good natured, witless and outside the law. Of course it’s “just a dumb comedy,” but perpetuating insulting stereotypes increases our misunderstanding of each other, as any minority group who has complained about their portrayal in the media can attest.
Another unfunny comedy from the Hollywood machine, DUKES OF HAZZARD is one that most audiences will want to ignore.
The television series has been called family friendly, but the DUKES OF HAZARD movie is aimed for audiences who enjoy crude, drug-fueled comedies. There is plenty of foul language, lots of jokes about and references to sex, and gratuitous shots of women in their underwear. Also, the two heroes smoke marijuana in one scene glorifying drug use. Aside from the moral objections, most of the gags are pathetically uninspired and predictable. The plot is unintelligible, a little of which is forgivable for a dumb comedy like this one, but it looks like the filmmakers didn’t even try. DUKES OF HAZZARD is another unfunny comedy from the Hollywood machine.