Wild Hogs

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Wild Hogs
Review (6/10)
(By Ron Henriques)

Why you ask? Why oh why is John Travolta so eager to return his career to the state it was in before "Pulp Fiction?" Following his successful performance in that film, his career achieved resurgence in the mid-nineties and he made hit after hit. Now he seems willing to star in travesties no better than 1987's "The Experts". Granted, that film landed him his wife, but if he continues to appear in crappy films his hobby as an airline pilot may become his full-time job. Along with the career declining Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy, Travolta is a member of the Wild Hogs motorcycle gang. Actually, they're not really a gang, because it's just the four of them and during the work week, they're each a real-estate agent, dentist, plumber and computer programmer, respectively. What's four middle aged guys to do when they're suffering from mid-life crisis? You go on a road trip to nowhere. Since they lead boring lives, who could blame them for wanting to escape? Travolta's super-model wife is divorcing him, Lawrence is married to over-bearing former "Martin" co-star Tichina Arnold, Macy is a nerdy "Dudley Do-Right" who just happens to be named Dudley and Allen is a dentist married to Jill Hennessey. Although, if your wife is Jill Hennessey, then your life can't be all that bad.

These three losers foolishly decide to throw their cell-hones away and take to the road where no one, (including themselves) will know where they are. In true stupidly-conceived-road-movie fashion, the not-so-fab four end up in one idiotic situation after another. After burning down their campsite tent with a flaming marshmallow, the group shares the same air mattress only to be woken the next morning by tight-uniformed gay highway patrolman John C. McGinley. When they decide to go bottomless (and offend a family camping) in a public lake, McGinley "coincidently" shows up again and asks if "five's a crowd." Then there's the stupid sequences of them riding down the freeway trying to dodge, bugs, birds or any type of flying animal that may splatter across their faces.

Things get even dumber when the group decide to stop for a beer at a bar that's clearly run by a serious gang of bikers. Didn't they get the hint from the dozens of motorcycles lined up out front? They not only manage to offend lead biker Ray Liotta and his gang, but Travolta inadvertedly blows up the bar in an effort to get Macy's stolen bike back. Their journey soon takes them to a nearby idyllic town in the middle of a chili contest/festival, where Macy finds himself smitten with local diner owner Marisa Tomei. The only funny highlight of the film is the appearance of Tenacious D's Kyle Gass doing a terrible rendition of the Pussycat Dolls' ?Don't Cha?. As the four engage in festivities that include line dancing and harassing a poor bull in a coral, they're unaware that Liotta and his gang are hunting to kill the four of them. Why are they unaware, because Travolta lied and told them he threatened Liotta to get Macy's bike back and left out the part where he blew up their bar.

I think it's pretty obvious by now what a complete mess "Wild Hogs" is. Allen, Travolta, Lawrence and Macy have all achieved remarkable levels of success in various genres within the movie business. It's kind of depressing to see them stoop so low in such a lame movie because their careers haven't even hit rock bottom...yet. These actors are starting to repeat the acting styles and behaviors that they are know for it's become wearisome. Travolta always has to include some little singing and dancing riff in his performances, while Macy continually plays the nerdy type and even gets a tattoo of the Apple computer logo on his arm. Lawrence is all bark and no bite, constantly making threats and talking about actions we know he'll never take. His shtick hasn't changed in over fifteen years and the appearance of his former "Martin" co-star Arnold makes one remember better times. As for Allen, he's never been much of an actor, just a performer whose style consists mainly of reactions. Director Walt Becker and his writers have made a mistake of naming Travolta's character "Woody." Every time Tim "Buzz Lightyear" Allen yells at him, it makes you think of that even greater film. Since Disney produced both of these movies as guess that's their idea of product placement. Pretty tasteless.

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