The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Travolta, Macy and Allen are roadkill in ‘Wild Hogs’

What is there to say about “Wild Hogs” that you haven’t already assumed from the mind-numbingly stupid trailer?

It’s dumber than you think.

It’s a waste of celluloid.

It would be more worth your time to watch grass grow or organize your music files by color of album covers.

But you may have even assumed all of those things, too. “Wild Hogs” is an insipid, condescending, mindless movie that isn’t worth the $10 ticket price. Honestly, they should be paying you to watch it.

The film follows four middle-aged guys each going through their own mid-life crisis. Woody (John Travolta) has a supermodel wife who’s currently in the process of divorcing him. Doug (Tim Allen) is coping with the realization that his family thinks he’s getting old and therefore “lame.”

Bobby (Martin Lawrence) is an aspiring writer who is dominated by his overbearing wife. Dudley (William H. Macy) is a computer technician who is completely unable to talk to girls.

The four are in their own little motorcycle gang, Wild Hogs, and in order to combat their middle-aged blues, they decide to take a road trip. Along the way, they encounter a homosexual police officer (John C. McGinley), two bumbling small town deputies (Jason and Randy Sklar), an attractive diner owner (Marisa Tomei), and the leader of a real motorcycle gang (Ray Liotta) who doesn’t take kindly to the Flabby Four assuming the biker way of life.

By now, the big question on your mind must be how on earth they got all of these well-known actors to agree to be in this movie. They even managed to get a cameo out of Peter Fonda! Surely there’s some deal with the devil going on here (the agreement being that they all had to be in this movie in order to win an Oscar someday or something to that effect).

This film is so thinly plotted, you’d think it had been written by a 10-year-old with an adult coming in and shoehorning some curse words and sex jokes in so it would be less of a children’s movie.

There are plot holes everywhere the story steps, leaving audience members disconcertingly confused. Most of the events that move the plot forward don’t even make sense. Why would John Travolta’s character insist that all of the guys throw out their cell phones and everyone just agrees and throws away their expensive sources of communication? Why would Travolta’s character not tell his friends when they were in trouble, leading them into an increasingly dangerous situation? Why is there a ninja hanging out with Ray Liotta and his gang of bikers? These are all good questions that never get answered.

The film also deals in ridiculous stereotypes. William H. Macy plays a computer technician, so of course he is unable to talk to girls and is naturally clueless and clumsy. Tim Allen is the dentist, so of course he has delusions of grandeur about being a doctor and is generally boring. The list goes on.

The dialogue is wooden and stiff, leading these usually animated actors to sound like they’re in a middle school play. Seriously… Martin Lawrence’s performance in “Wild Hogs” makes his turn in “Big Momma’s House” seem Oscar-worthy. Proud declarations and speeches about teamwork and brotherhood are splashed across the script with little regard to whether or not they fit in the scene.

The only positive aspect of this movie is William H. Macy’s performance. He’s one of the best character actors of the age, and he doesn’t disappoint here. He makes the best of what he’s given and gets a majority of the laughs. The scene in which he shows off his new tattoo, a multicolored Apple logo, to some bikers is downright hilarious.

Another aspect of the film that brought unintentional laughs is the naming of John Travolta’s character, Woody. It will make Pixar’s “Toy Story” fans chuckle every time Tim Allen’s character calls out to Woody. But then, it also serves to take you out of the movie, as you are almost sure to quickly imagine Tim Allen in his Buzz Lightyear persona.

So it is possible to laugh at “Wild Hogs.” But don’t expect it to happen often.

The movie misses every mark it tries for and will likely be a solid contender at next year’s “Razzie” awards, which recognize the worst Hollywood has to offer. “Wild Hogs” is, quite simply, an abominable movie.

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