Opening 6 Oct 2005
The good ol’ boys are back in the big screen version of popular early ‘80s U.S. television show The Dukes of Hazzard. This time, cousins Bo and Luke Duke are played by Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville, and Daisy Duke’s Daisy Dukes (short shorts) are filled out by singer Jessica Simpson. Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson) is still running moonshine and trying to hide it from the law, but things get serious when corrupt commissioner Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds) seizes the Duke family farm. Is this just a case of an old vendetta going too far, or is there more to Boss Hogg’s evil scheme?
If that sounds like the plot of a not-too-deep T.V. show, that’s not a surprise, because this film feels like an episode that’s extended far too long. Director Jay Chandrasekhar (Super Troopers and Club Dread) manages to keep the feeling of the original show but loses much of the fun. Some of the many problems include trying to update the Dukes to the present day while Hazzard County still feels lost in the past; a weak screenplay where hardly any of the many jokes are funny (despite Chandrasekhar’s continued involvement with the Broken Lizard comedy troupe and cameos by many of its members); and way too many agonizingly long car chases, even allowing for the fact that the Dukes’ ’69 Dodge Charger, “The General Lee”, was and is a character in its own right. The film’s only saving grace is the great soundtrack filled with classic Southern rock tracks. While seeing these Dukes may not be hazardous to your health, unless you’re a big Johnny Knoxville or Seann William Scott fan, it will be a waste of your time. (Kirsten Greco)