Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Dukes of Hazzard

Remakes are getting popular in Hollywood, be they adapted from existing Asian films like Infernal Affairs, or digging into their own nostalgic TV series. This remake doesn't take itself too seriously, as we revisit the Dukes of Hazzard County - Cousins Luke, Bo, Daisy and Uncle Jessie.

In a short span of 10 minutes, we get introduced to the boys and their moonshine running, their penchant for running into trouble, the bickering banter, and got the opportunity to see Daisy up close and personal in the bar.

The plot's a bit flimsy, nothing too intelligent - baddie Boss Hogg buys up farmland in Hazzard in an attempt to turn Hazzard into a humongous coal mining town, and it's up to the Duke boys to stop him from achieving his objective. It plays out simply like a chess game, with moves and countermoves from both sides, but no prizes for guessing who always come up tops.

There are plenty of stars in this remake film. Johnny Knoxville, better known as the creator-writer of the TV series Jackass, stars as Luke Duke. Sean Williams Scott seems to be dangerously typecasted into smarty-pants or dumb jock roles, given his filmography filled with American Pies, and asking Where's his Car in Road Trips. Thankfully, there is some chemistry between them to make this film bearable. For any hot-blooded male, the female dormitory scene will probably bring on the laughs,

Jessica Simpson has been aptly highlighted (or rather, her assets were) in the trailers, and as Daisy Duke, she gets to flaunt her assets a lot in this film, in various hot pants, bikinis and undress. It gets tired after a while, as Daisy Duke turned more into a bimbo than anything else. Not that I'm not enjoying every moment of it though. Willie Nelson completes the Duke family as Uncle Jessie, and you'd half expect him to break out into song, which he did, for a short while, during the end credits. The villains are over the top, with Burt Reynolds really adding the cheese as Hogg.

But the real star of the show is that red hot "General Lee" Dodge Charger car which leaps over so many ramps placed throughout the movie on purpose. The Dixie horn gets tooted a number of times too, just for the sake of drumming it in that hey, it's like the TV series. The cinematography for General Lee challenges flicks like The Fast and The Furious, and even gives Initial D's "drifting" a run for its money, performing the drifting stunt not in lonely mountain roads, but in busy city streets. Hats off to the stunt drivers, and for wreaking quite a number of the cars as seen in the making of clips in the closing credits.

The Dukes of Hazzard gamely captures some elements in the TV series, but the movie doesn't offer anything much refreshing. While enjoyable, there isn't much to take away from this comedy, and is forgettable once you're out of the theatre.

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