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Yet another man falls victim to the
power of a nicely shaped butt.

The Dukes of Hazzard
(Hollywood remake or sequel, or film based on a comic book, book, play or video game # 42, since January 1st, 2005. Click for full list of Hollywood's lack of original ideas.)
Review written by: Alex Sandell

When I was in 1st and 2nd grade, The Dukes of Hazzard was all the talk amongst the 7-year-old set.  Children's minds weren't developed enough to know a bad show when they saw it, and I wasn't man enough to admit that I hated the program. 

Every Monday during recess my classmates would draw out a map of the events that occurred on Friday night's episode.  It was a crude drawing on notebook paper that was never more than a circle representing a generic road and a couple of squares representing cars racing along the candy-smudged backwoods of Hazzard County.  In retrospect, it looked like a game from the Atari 2600, only drawn in red color crayon on blue-lined paper provided by Mead.

Those kids relived all the exciting adventures of them Duke Boys.  I usually had to nod my head and pretend to know what everyone was talking about, being that these were still the days when parents took responsibility for their children's viewing habits, rather than leaving it up to useless politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Sam Brownback and Bill Frist, and my folks wouldn't let me watch the show.  I snuck it a few times, but I could never figure out what the fuss was all about.  The actual program was never any deeper than the color crayon drawings I saw on the playground.

As a kid, I had to fake enthusiasm over the Dukes.  Now I can admit that it was the dumbest show ever made, and the movie is somehow far worse. Even the cartoon-ish elements that a few found so enduring are missing.  Boss Hogg is played by Burt Reynolds, who isn't fat, but is sleepwalking through the motions for a paycheck.  Put down the Valium before shooting, Burt.  That one dude doesn't even once let out a "coo-coo-coo," which the kids (and retards) loved on the original program.  And Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott make Coy and Vance Duke (played by Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer, after John Schneider and Tom Wopat left the show over contract disputes) look like compelling, three-dimensional characters. 

Johnny Knoxville has always been sort of a horse's ass (or even a Jackass), but Seann William Scott can be funny.  Unfortunately, there's no room left for humor in this film.  Even the horribly underused Willie Nelson, as Uncle Jesse, seems to be stumbling through this movie on sedatives and the promise of a paycheck.  There are no good lines for anyone to read.  The directing is flat.  The entire production is one big, uninspired failure.  I'm glad I was never a Dukes of Hazzard fan, because a movie this lackluster would have had me overdosing on moonshine.

The plot, if you can call it that, regards Boss Hogg trying to turn Hazzard County into a coal-mining community.  As a diversion, he has called in a top racer -- originally from Hazzard -- to take part in the Hazzard Road Race, to distract the county from protesting Hogg's takeover of the town.  The boys have to figure out what's really going on, and get in lots of car chases along the way.  Jessica Simpson shows her tits and ass a lot -- fully clothed -- which makes the movie passable, but no more thrilling than a beer ad for Milwaukee's Best. 

The whole film feels as underdeveloped as Jessica's talentless, lip-synching sister's boobs, vocal-chords and personality, and the best special FX in the film is probably Jessica's wonder-bra.  Yes, there are some semi-amazing stunts done with cars, but how many are Computer Generated?  Even if they're not, how many of us are motor heads enough to really give a shit?  Big automobile stunts and jumps are so 1970's.

Like it or not, the show this crappy film is based on was a cultural phenomenon.  You can find proof of that out in my shed, where my old dresser is still stored.  I didn't even like the program, but still I felt that I wouldn't be trendy without something showing my "love" of The Dukes.  Therefore, you'll still find a tarnished sticker, stuck to my dresser, of Uncle Jesse holding a rifle.  I always hated that thing being stuck there, in the midst of worthy stickers such as those from Star Wars and Superman: The Movie, but the fact that I felt obligated to have at least one sticker up of Confederate flying rednecks -- to prove that I could be as ignorant and cool as the next 7-year-old -- shows what a phenomenon the program really was.  It's too bad the movie couldn't, at the very least, live up to its crappy namesake.

What was the point of making Bo Duke a mentally challenged hillbilly with a long-term crush?  Why would anyone cast Johnny Knoxville as Luke Duke?  The guy made his name being tipped upside down in an outhouse on MTV, covering his body in feces.  Even The Dukes of Hazzard deserve better than this.  The film will inevitably blue-ball any fans of the original TV show and leave the rest of us asking who had the balls to green light such a horrible film.

Agree, disagree, do you wish you had a better education?  Email Alex!

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