on September 12, 2015
Let me be clear: I'm giving this 2.5 stars instead of 3.
This is the story of Bo and Luke Duke, and yet another one of their misadventures running into Boss Hogg. You really need to see the original TV series to get this movie, but that's ok. We loved this show when I was a kid in the '80s, but I have to say that this movie barely captures any of what made the TV show great. The Duke boys are always running afoul of the law, but in a very innocent and justified way. They are moonshiners, and the only law enforcement out there to stop them is the far more corrupt Boss Hogg, and his band of crooked officers. This is another episode of JD Hogg trying to catch them, but Hogg is pulling yet another scam in which he seizes all of the farmland in a certain area of Hazzard County, including the Duke boys' farm. Why is he seizing all of this land? That's the mystery.
That is such a cool, tight plot that sounds so great, and plots like this were so great when this was a TV show, but like I said above, this movie fumbles most of the things that were handed to it by the TV show. The whole premise of the TV show was so cool as well: the Dukes were a couple of bad boy "Robin Hood" types that were on a rebellious, righteous crusade that allowed them to have blistering car chases and to fire off exploding arrows. They were rebellious, yet doing the right thing, and every episode plot was really tight and had a vivid and succinct feel to it. It had a storytelling that has been lost by 2015. Every TV show just feels sensationalist and CGI-ish by 2015, with bland characters and thin plot lines.
However, this movie adaptation largely falls flat. It wasn't a miserable failure, it's just that it under impressed. Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville were way too bland in their roles. They didn't seem to know what they were doing in this movie. They were kind of empty suits and added no flair or flavor whatsoever to their characters. The original actors had a seriously clean cut and principled feel to them, so that it really felt like they were the good guys. Perhaps the originals could have been a shade grittier, but Knoxville and Scott just sort of can't act, and are too unscrupulous. They are just not likable enough. I think the director just had a pretty stupid idea when he said "Hey, let's get Stiffler and Jackass together to play the Duke boys!" It seemed like they just wanted to cram in two A-list (or actually B-list) stars who had crazy energy, but they didn't really get the Duke brothers' dynamic.
This movie also failed to capture the warmth and everything cool about the South, although the original series fell a little bit flat in that area too. This movie was worse, though. The only good things about this movie were the spot on narration and the music. The plot was pretty good too, but the dialogue that was supposed to hold it together was stupid and horrendous. There are moments in this movie that pretty much feel like a "B" movie. This movie also verged on being the steroidy, stupid frat boy humor that has plagued our entertainment since the '90s. While the original TV series had some ridiculous characters, this movie missed the mark, and had some stupid moments that were physically impossible, and it kind of insulted your intelligence. There is a fight scene in there with Bo Duke wearing a helmet that comes to mind. Remaking a classic TV show has a steep slope to it. If you do a great job, like with "The A Team," it can be petty decent and surprisingly cool and fun. If you swing and miss, though, it can be pretty dismal and you can ruin a classic TV show. Fans will be pretty disgusted. Although this movie wasn't that horrible, it was pretty much a disappointment. Anyways, this movie largely misses the mark. 2.5 stars.
on June 24, 2011
I grew up with and was a fan of the original television series so I gave this movie a try, and was incredibly disappointed. If it ain't broke don't fix it! "The Dukes of Hazzard Movie" is not good enough to be called bad. Every thing about this movie is horendous, the character portrayal, the storyline, the affects. My advice to anyone thinking about getting this movie is not to waste your time or money. Trust me is isn't worth it.
on March 28, 2016
This movie has virtually *nothing* to do with the original TV show. Yes, there is the car, the General Lee. Yes, all of the names are correct (Bo, Luke, Daisy, Boss Hogg, Hazzard County, etc.), but the similarities basically stop there. In fact, virtually everything else depicted in the movie is basically the exact *opposite* of the TV show. It's as if everything that made the TV show so fun was turned around and turned on its head, not in some comedic send off to the original TV show, but as an utter rejection and undoing of the original TV show.
It is painfully obvious that the writer(s), producer(s), and director of this movie either didn't know anything about the original TV show or they don't care.
But I have a partial theory as to what may have happened. I'm guess that the writer(s)/producer(s) and director started off with *no basic knowledge of the original TV show*. Someone or someones at Warner Bros ordered them to make a Dukes of Hazzard movie, and so the writer(s)/producer(s)/directed said to each other, "We'd better familiarize ourselves with this show so we can make a movie somewhat faithful to the original TV show."
What I think they did next was that they started from the beginning, grabbed Season 1 of the Dukes of Hazzard, and watched the first few episodes or so. Then they said, "Ah, we know what this show is about!" and then they proceeded to make a movie. BIG MISTAKE. HUGE MISTAKE. COLOSSAL MISTAKE. Now, I don't know for sure that this is what happened, but all the evidence seems to fit.
Why do I say this? Because the first several episodes of the Dukes of Hazzard are *very, very, very different* from the remaining 6 and a half seasons of what made this show so fun and beloved.
The first few episodes of Season 1 present Luke, Daisy and especially Bo as being morally loose and Boss Hogg as being unfaithful to his wife. Also, Bo, Luke and Cooter are presented in the first few episodes of Season 1 as basic country idiots with very little sense but a whole lot of "luck". In the first few episodes of Season 1 Boss and Rosco are more ruthless and mean. There's also some bad language and some questionable themes, like a rolling house of ill repute in an RV. Daisy is also somewhat trashy in her dress and behavior the first few episodes of Season 1. And THAT's the movie...only the movie is worse.
But that's NOT a truly accurate representation of the Dukes of Hazzard TV show....at least not the TV show that was so beloved and fun, because the show drastically and radically changed after the first few episodes. This was deliberate on the part of the producers and writers of TV show. They realize that their show had far greater potential and appeal as a family TV show, and so they cleaned it all up and made a number of significant changes. These changes stuck with the show for the remaining 6 1/2 seasons, and over 135+ remaining episodes.
They cleaned the language up. Boss was never again unfaithful to Lulu. Bo, Luke and Daisy were always presented as morally upright. Daisy dressed cute but she was honorable in her behavior. Gone were the racy themes. Boss and Rosco were still crooks, but they were fun, they weren't actually mean and they would never actually do any deliberate physical harm to anyone. Bo, Luke, Daisy, Uncle Jesse and Cooter weren't bumbling, they were clever and smart and they stood for what was right and moral. Uncle Jesse was a model of parental/grandfatherly wisdom.
What you ended up with was a TV show with strong morals, family values, upholding justice against the comically crooked Boss and Rosco.
Also, Daisy was deliberately a brunette. The higher powers at Warner Brothers wanted her to be blonde, but it's important that she remained a brunette, because that's who Daisy was.
Basically, what you get in the movie is a genuine *mean* and SKINNY Boss Hogg, a genuinely mean Rosco, a whole lot of crude language, adult situations, immorality, Bo and Luke are idiots, Cooter is an idiot, Daisy is trashy and blonde, and Uncle Jesse is STILL doing moonshine...something he abandoned completely in the TV show. Not to mention that Uncle Jesse's character was dating Lynda Carter's character. Just a stupid, stupid, stupid movie.
*Anyone* who thinks this is like the original TV show is either ignorant of the original show, or they have poor memory or they aren't very discerning. I would guess that most of the five star reviews are from young men who like crude, mindless movies...because that's what this movies is. Sure, the original TV show wasn't emmy award winning material, but it was clean, moral fun, not crude, immoral trash. The TV show and the movie are like night and day opposites.
If you enjoyed/like/loved the old TV show, this movie will almost certainly be a huge disappointment.
Sad, because if Warner had actually set out to make a movie true to the spirit of what really defined the original show they would have probably doubled or tripled their money.
on March 12, 2013
When this came out in theaters didn't see it. When this came out on DVD, didn't see it. Fast forward quite a few years I decided to purchase it here for a penny, before shipping, and finally saw it, yeah, it's not good.
on February 20, 2015
This movie missed the mark. Its got some funny parts, but the only really funny parts are the Broken Lizard cameos. Jay Chandasakar directed this movie so he found a way to get all of the Broken Lizard actors involved.
on January 21, 2006
If you used to say, you only watch this TV show because it's on before "Dallas",and you always watch Dallas, c'mon, fess up! You love "The Dukes of Hazzard". You love Daisy Duke, The General Lee, moonshine, Uncle Jesse, and you think the Waylon Jennings theme song is just about the best damn song ever written. You can name the character cousins who replaced Bo and Luke Duke during their brief contract dispute with CBS, (the question stumped me during a recent Trivial Pursuit bout). You said a silent prayer when you heard two of the series stunt drivers were killed during a filming of one of the episodes, ending with, 'that great dirt back road in the sky'. You owned a Dukes of Hazzard T-shirt, the board game, official '69 Charger model kit, and you periodically check the secondary market of your Dukes of Hazzard lunch box.
This movie loves the Dukes too. The cameras treat The General, that legendary orange '69 Charger, like a star in a fashion shoot, with long, loving, slow-motion shots and spectacular flying sequences, not only over country creeks, but highflying like a witch on a broom over highways in downtown Atlanta. Yee-Haw! There's more love here than a possum in springtime. A minor beloved character smiles directly into the camera after his bit, and who would have imagined that Daisy Duke's short shorts could become shorter? I can reluctantly admit that all essential characters, and then some, are accounted for, and the script is taken directly from episodes of the series, particularly the one about the successful hometown Hazzard boy who comes home to win the big race.
The movie Dukes are a little dumber than TV's clean-cut Bo and Luke. Seann William Scott, as Bo, conveys a perfect simple-minded, big-hearted, gearhead country bumpkin, and Johnny Knoxville, aside from some lame and gratuitous stunt work, manages to fulfill the character, even with a wavering put-upon southern accent. The funniest role belongs to Kevin Hefferman as conspiracy minded, schizophrenic good ole boy, Sheev, who wears an armadillo shell on his head to block secret messages from the CIA. Jessica Simpson, as the leggy Daisy Duke, admits in the DVD extras that she only has to stand around and look good, and she does that well enough. The only grave disappointment is law enforcement bungling baddies, Roscoe and Boss Hogg, characters demanding broad slapstick are given careless and indifferent no-cigar treatment.
So kick your shoes off, set down ahwile, the DVD extras reveal a dismantled and controlled General Lee, but dreams of a '69 Charger never die. When the sequel comes around, you'll be there faster than a polecat chased up a tree.
on November 3, 2011
I'll start out by saying I'm not a purist. But if you're going to take something as ain't-broken as the Dukes of Hazzard, you daggum well better know what you're doing when you try to fix it. This movie has a lot of changes. Some work well and some don't, but the end product isn't nearly as good as the source material. It is a lot of fun if you don't think too hard about it.
Any Dukes of Hazzard film is going to live or die by its car chases and especially the jumps. Through most of the film they do not disappoint. The jump onto the highway in Atlanta is one of the greatest jumps I've ever seen on the screen. They just about ruin it all, though, with the last jump, a CGI atrocity. When will filmmakers learn that just because it can be done in CGI doesn't mean it won't look like trash? From the DVD extras, they actually did the real jump (with dummies), then ruined it with CGI. And they planned to do the same with the rest of the jumps, but those looked so great even their own foolishness wouldn't let them ruin them. A lot of the other car stunts are truly special.
The filmmakers made some strange choices in adaptation. The Dukes and their allies replace Boss Hogg and Roscoe P. Coltrane as the comic foils, but neither Hogg nor Roscoe (M.C. Gainey isn't half as scary as he was in Justified) can manage to be terribly menacing. The movie (especially the unrated version) is also quite risqué. I have no philosophical disagreement with that, but let's be honest--the Dukes don't need to go lowest common denominator to entertain. I guess the thinking was that the old Dukes fans have all grown up, but the old Dukes formula would always be beloved by kids (and those of us that still like to pretend we're kids from time to time).
Jessica Simpson tries hard, and fails, to look as good as Catherine Bach, but I'm not complaining. Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse just fires off one-liners. The soundtrack is mostly southern rock mainstays, and it's a downright joy for country boy's when the General Lee fires up and Black Betty cranks up.
Broken Lizard (of Super Troopers fame) eventually took over production. They left many a hat tip to their marquee production. Governor Jessman (Lynda Carter), the fast food cashier, and the Vermont state troopers from Super Troopers all make appearances. There is also an allusion to the side-splitting opening scene.
DVD extras include: Daisy Dukes: the short short shorts, the General Lee lives, how to launch a muscle car 175 feet in 4 seconds, the hazards of Dukes, the These Boots are Made for Walking music video, additional scenes, unrated additional scenes, bloopers, unrated bloopers, and the theatrical trailer. Given the choice between this version (the Unrated one) and the theatrical version, I would prefer the latter. The differences are across-the-board more risqué, but less funny.
This review is from: The Dukes of Hazzard (Unrated Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
I'd like to offer some serious film criticism, but this movie really doesn't warrant spending any real time thinking about it. So let's just take a look at the "film" for entertainment value. I smiled exactly once--and that was at a minor character played by James Roday. This film represented everything that is wrong in Hollywood today. Yet, of course, it was a hit--sending out the message that American audiences will embrace anything and that studios should keep making trash. I, in all honesty, could not imagine ANYONE being even slightly amused by the antics of the Dukes. Loud and obnoxious, the greatest sin is that it's not even good enough to be "dumb fun". KGHarris, 9/06.
on December 6, 2005
Everybody said this movie was bad and not even Jessica Simpson made it worth watching. Did I listen? No. Will you? No. You'll think that it HAS to be worth watching at least a little bit because of Jessica Simpson in skimpy clothing, but let me just belabor the point: it's not worth watching. She is not in it enough to make it worth watching.
Oh, and the story line? Terrible. In fact, I have to admit that I stopped watching this movie at the 20 minute mark, which is a rare curtailing for me; I normally make it a habit to finish movies but with this one there was just no point. I'd already seen enough.
on December 12, 2005
I didn't see this film in its theatrical release. If I had, I would have given in one star. The plot is horrible, and everything that made the TV series fun is gone in this version. Sheriff Roscoe pretty much stole the show in the original series, and always managed to garner genuine laughs. In this one, however, Roscoe is an unpleasant, unlikeable fellow with no real part to play.
Willie Nelson mamages to rise to the same level he did in Honeysuckle Rose, his film debut from the 1980s. Which is to say he can't act at all.
Johnny Knoxville is ignorant as Luke Duke, and the other guy who plays Bo, seems out of place. He can actually act, which means he has no place in this film.
And Jessica Simpson? Yeah, she looks great, but if you want to sit and gawk at Jessica, just watch the video that comes as an added extra in this package. But there's better eye candy in this unrated version, which earns it two stars instead of one. There's a whole bevy of topless sorrority chicks that make Jessica hardly worth a second look. The extras have even more!
But even that's not worth laying down money for...