THE DUKES OF HAZZARD
Review by Michael Jacobson
Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds,
Willie Nelson, Lynda Carter
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 107 Minutes
Release Date: December 6, 2005
know what's gonna happen, don't you? Those
two are gonna get themselves in trouble, end up in jail, and I'm gonna have to
shake my ass at somebody to get 'em out."
why we love you, honey."
I was born, raised and still live in the south, so naturally,
I have an affinity for all those stereotypical southern caricatures that are
always rolling out of Hollywood and onto my movie and TV screen.
Hell, they're enough to make me wanna open a Time Life size set of whup-ass
on somebody before I go "bile" my grits.
This year, it's The Dukes of Hazzard filling that bill.
Yep, the Duke boys are back. Can't
say that I missed 'em too much. Back
when it was a hit television show, my mother didn't like me watching it.
She said there were much better things I could be putting in my brain
than The Dukes.
I hope I remembered to thank
her for it.
But maybe I'm being too harsh. What did I expect from a remake of a show like The
Dukes of Hazzard? Pretty much what I got:
car chases, redneck humor, dumb cops, moonshine, and Jessica Simpson
wearing shorts that were they cut off any higher, they'd be a belt.
I got all that and more. And
I caught a glimpse or two of the original show, and for one
thing, I don't remember Bo and Luke Duke being as dumb as they are in this
picture. Here, the Duke boys
combined don't seem to have the IQ of a salad crouton.
You know when you put a trio of characters together and Jessica Simpson
is playing the smart one, you're in trouble.
There's not much story...Bo (Scott) and Luke (Knoxville) are
helping their Uncle Jesse (Nelson) in his moonshine business, frequently aided
by the sexy charms of their cousin Daisy (Simpson) and their classic Dodge
Charger dubbed the General Lee. Their
nemesis is Boss Hogg (Reynolds), who has a dastardly plan up his white sleeve.
He wants to force the good Hazzard folks off their land so he can start a
coal mining operation. The town's
only hope is our beloved redneck cousins. We
in trouble, y'all...
The humor is lowbrow, the car chases are big, loud, and defy
Newton's laws left and right, and the plot is like a television episode
stretched to the breaking point. All
that keeps it from sinking is the affable charm of the stars.
Knoxville and Scott are both likeable and seem to be having a genuinely
good time in the movie. Probably more than we are.
But they're as far from their television counterparts as the recent cast
Honeymooners was from theirs. Neither
one can "yee-haa" worth a damn. And
Knoxville is a genuine southern gentleman, too...shame.
And Jessica Simpson...yow.
I can't speak much for her acting because I didn't pay a lot of attention
to it, but I can say nobody was better built to inherit Catherine Bach's
legendary shorts. You won't see any
more of her in this unrated version, but you'll get your money's worth
elsewhere, especially when the Dukes end up in a sorority house in Atlanta.
Willie Nelson is also a trip, bringing a low-key, constantly
joking presence to Uncle Jesse. And
it was a treat to see the eternally lovely Lynda Carter in a small role.
Sadly, the usually reliable Burt Reynolds seemed a bit lost as Boss Hogg.
Maybe a slice of raw liver would have livened him up some.
There was no need for this movie, but every summer delivers
its share of films where the mouth is in overdrive and the brain is in neutral.
Hollywood has been in remake hell a little too long now; it's fair to say
their idea tank is about a quart low. The Dukes of Hazzard isn't
one of the better offerings, but it ain't the worst either.
I have only one thing to say to anyone thinking "sequel",
though...don't come back, now, y'hear?
No complaints here...Warner did a fantastic job with this
anamorphic transfer; it's spectacular! There's
plenty of scenes where everything is moving fast, and the colors, lines and
image detail stay strong and intact throughout.
The many outdoor scenes are beautifully rendered, and I noticed no
evidence of grain or compression.
The General Lee is fast and furious, and so is this 5.1 mix.
It'll have you ducking right from the get-go!
The engine roars through the subwoofer, and the action keeps all channels
fully employed. Dialogue is clean
and clear (well, except for the southern accents, honey), and dynamic range is
plentiful. Good songs, too, including Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers Lynyrd
Come sit a spell, 'cause there's a number of good extras on
this disc. The most fun are the
blooper reels: one rated, one
unrated. Check out the unrated
version to see Willie Nelson spill the funniest limerick you ever heard! There are also two sets of deleted scenes, rated and unrated.
There are four featurettes:
one for behind-the-scenes, one for the car stunts, one on the General Lee
itself (himself?), and one on the world famous "Daisy Dukes" shorts.
Rounding out is a trailer and a video for Jessica Simpson doing
"These Boots Are Made For Walking"...and man, does she look nice in