Friday, April 20, 2007

The Day Late and a Dollar Short Movie Review: Wild Hogs

Jes and I recently caught a showing of Wild Hogs, influenced somewhat by Roadbum's recent review.
Really, the "dinner and a movie" classic date was our highest priority, trying to distract my sweetie from the anniversary of a family tragedy. Somehow we got our movie-times confused, and opted for Pathfinder instead... left after the first ten minutes of this flick, which is sort of like the old Kirk Douglas Vikings meets Dances with Wolves, do to the gratuitous violence. The gentleman at the service counter was extremely helpful, gave us tickets for a later showing of Wild Hogs, and saved our pop corn bag, and soda cup for us, telling us we could get them refilled when we returned. Jes and I were both pleasantly stunned by the actual polite "service" we recieved, so kudos go out to Keith at the Regal 16 in Lacey.

Anyway, Wild Hogs is a fun little flick. Sure, it won't be winning any Oscars, but it has a great cast, and you get the feeling like they had fun making this film. There is a real mellow, good natured chemistry between the actors that is palpable, and makes the movie a fun ride. It's a guys buddy comedy, so there is a lot of locker-room humor, and mildly homophobic humor, but even Jes, who is pretty sensitive to that, enjoyed the movie.
The main conflict is between the yuppie "weekend warriors" and a gang of old-school desert bikers. Predictable, sure, but the old school versus new school conflict pops up a lot both in motorcycle culture and scooter culture, so for me, at least it worked. I don't think you have to be a biker (or a scooterist) to enjoy Wild Hogs, though you probably would be better off waiting to rent it. Bikers who are looking for something light hearted, that jokes and plays with the standard biker stereotypes, should get enough chuckles, snorts, and genuine belly laughs, to make it worth theater (or second run theater) prices. There is, of course, a cameo by Peter Fonda at the end, with a feel-good message reminding the viewer what two-wheeling is all about.

Peter Fonda really seems to have built a small career on these types of cameos. (I haven't caught his turn at Mephistopheles in Ghost Rider, yet.) I'm not complaining, his surfer in Escape from LA is one of the best things in that movie. That being said, he can be a damn fine actor, check out Ulee's Gold, a great performance which netted him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

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