Major stars getting together for a road trip? Sounds like fun to me, and if the trailer was anything to go by, it was potential for serious laughs as middle aged men band together for some serious male bonding session while hitting the road. Wild Hogs are what Doug, Woody, Bobby and Dudley call themselves - biker dude wannabes who spend their free time mucking around a biker pub, sharing their life's woes.
Doug (Tim Allen) is a dentist who gets no respect from his son and suffers from a self inflicted diet regime, Bobby (Martin Lawrence) is a henpecked househusband working in between his novel and The Firm, Dudley (William H Macy) is a geeky computer programmer who doesn't have the guts to speak to girls, and unofficial leader of the pack Woody (John Travolta) seems to have it all on the surface - riches and a Swimsuit Illustrated wife, but little does anyone know he's a bankrupt undergoing a divorce.
Watching them moot the idea of a road trip on bikes - to ride hard and ride free, seemed to have rubbed off on me. If I had a bike license, hell yeah, I'd do that too with a bunch of like minded buddies, hitting the road on a trip to somewhere, a destination in mind, but absolutely zero planning on how exactly to get there. Revving those Harleys on a highway is a romantic idea, making pit stops wherever there's a need for gas, to replenish supplies or to answer nature's call.
The trailer for Wild Hogs actually contained some of the best parts from the movie, and most of the good bits happen in the first half of the film. Toward the second half, you come to expect that the experience the guys go through together will have changed them for the better, though contrary to the notion of a road trip, they seem to be stuck at a single location toward the end, thus the movie started to sag both in pace and the lack of interesting happenings to spice things up.
I thought watching William H Macy in a comedic role was truly refreshing, and he almost has all the best lines in the movie. Juggling the other big named actors isn't easy, and Martin Lawrence's role turned out to be the most undefined, and somehow not as interesting as the rest. John Travolta really piled on the weight here, though he showed shades of his boogie Saturday Night Live days. The supporting cast of Ray Liotta and Marisa Tomei were surprising additions, and John C McGinley's involvement would probably be the best scene in the movie, as the cop who catches our heroes in a compromising situation out in the woods, made worst by their dialogue uttered while half asleep.
And if all that isn't enough, throw in Kyle Gass (Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny) hamming it up with contemporary pop tunes, and a soundtrack worthy to take along during a long road trip. Wild Hogs is really fun to watch, with a somewhat sublime message of remembering to take some time off for some serious recreation and vacation. It's feel good all the way, with boys who never really quite grown up.