PG-13 for sexual content,
crude and drug-related humor, language and comic action
Aug. 5, 2005
Action/Adventure and Comedy
Johnny Knoxville, Seann
William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds, Willie
Warner Bros. Pictures
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The Dukes of Hazzard
By Elliott Ryan
I remember watching the Dukes of Hazzard television
series every week as a child with my family. We'd clear the dinner
table and gather around the television for an hour of good, clean
fun watching Bo and Luke Duke antagonize the corrupt government
of Hazzard County.
So, with that in mind, I was excited to hear that a movie remake
of the series was being produced. I even went out and rented the
DVD of season one of the the original series to prepare for the
premiere. It was comforting to see the action-comedy series I
grew up with again. In hindsight, I wish my Dukes of Hazzard
experience had stopped there.
The movie is very different from the series. Now, I know Bo and
Luke were always getting in trouble with the law on the series.
But that was only because "the law" in the town was
corrupt. In the movie version, the vibe is that the Dukes are
every bit as corrupt. Even Uncle Jesse, who was the moral patriarch
of the family in the series, is portrayed as lewd and crude in
the movie. Curse words and alcohol and drug-related jokes abound.
There are parts of the movie that are funny. But as a Christian,
I sat there cringing so much from the immorality of the characters
that laughter was difficult.
Of course, one of the big draws of the original series was the
car crashes. They are present in the movie version also. But the
best looking crashes are all included in the outtakes that run
as the closing credits roll.
The plot takes place in modern day Hazzard County. While the world
around the county has changed significantly in the last twenty
years, the county itself is pretty much as you remember it --
only more vulgar. Boss Hogg (played by Burt Reynolds), much thinner
than when we last saw him, hosts a road race in the county. Of
course the Dukes enter the race and hope to take home the prize,
but it turns out that the race is just a ruse to distract citizens
as Hogg and Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane attempt to carry out a
devious plan to destroy the town.
The acting is adequate. Jessica Simpson plays Daisy Duke while
Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott star as her cousins Bo
and Luke. Neither Simpson nor Knoxville has much experience in
acting, but they turn in performances that are watchable. Scott
plays Bo as a bit of a psycho. His performance is all right also,
but I have seen him in several movies and he always seems to be
playing the exact same character. This is just a deep south version
of that character. Prior to seeing the movie, I thought casting
Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse was a great move. Having seen the
film now, I feel pretty ambivalent about that casting decision
-- as well as all the others.
This is not a family film. Do not take your children. It is rated
PG-13. However, with as much vulgarity as there is in the film,
I'm surprised it didn't garner an R-rating. Not only is it not
a family film, it isn't a good film. With a lot of other
options at the theater in the summer months, you may want to take
a pass on these "good ol' boys".
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