The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)

Movie Title: The Dukes of Hazzard

Year Released: 2005

Rated: Unrated

Runtime: 1hr 47min

Genre: Comedy

Director: Jay Chandrasekhar

Writer: John O'Brien

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Michael Weston, James Roday, M.C. Gainey, Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds, David Koechner, Willie Nelson, Lynda Carter, Kevin Heffernan, Nikki Griffin, Jacqui Maxwell, Jay Chandrasekhar, Erik Stolhanske, Joe Don Baker, Charlie Finn, and Junior Brown as The Balladeer

Review: Cousins Bo (Seann William Scott), Luke (Johnny Knoxville), and Daisy Duke (Jessica Simpson), and their uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson), have to save their family farm, along with their beloved Hazzard County from the greedy Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds). How exactly are they going to do that? Well, with a race, of course! Watch the good ol' boys burn rubber as they bring this classic television series to the big screen in The Dukes of Hazzard.

Adapting TV shows for the big screen has seen its successes (The Addams Family) and its failures (Aeon Flux). And the 2005 version of The Dukes of Hazzard is without a doubt a huge failure.

When I was a kid there was nothing better than watching the Duke Boys race around in the General Lee outrunning the cops, jumping bridges that are out, and yelling out, "Yeeeeehaaawww!" And that's the only thing that this movie gets right. The car stunts are top-notch and really fun to watch, but that's it. The script is terrible, the characters are all idiots, and the actors don't know what to do in this huge misfire of a production.

First off, Bo (Seann William Scott) and Luke Duke (Johnny Knoxville) are played as if they are morons. Scott plays Bo likes he's an immature weirdo that has awful social skills and really loves his car, a little too much. He actually declares in the Unrated Version that he wants to sex-up the vehicle. I classed it up for you. You're welcome. Knoxville plays Luke as, well, Knoxville. He's not even playing a character. He's just being himself and loving ever second that he's on screen, and I can't fault him for that. And poor Jessica Simpson looks so awkward with every single line of dialogue she delivers. You just feel bad for her and the fact that she has to be so scantily clad for this garbage. Willie Nelson was probably high the whole time, David Koechner and Lynda Carter are wasted, and worst off all - Burt Reynolds just seems lost in this mess of a movie.

The comedy falls flat, the plot is so silly and simplistic, and the movie only kicks into gear when the Dukes put the pedal to the metal. And I also noticed that the General Lee is filmed in such a way to obscure the Confederate flag on the roof of the classic car. Oh, and there's a scene where the Dukes are confronted and praised about the flag's prominent display. But the scene feels odd. Is it supposed to be funny, serious, silly, social commentary - what's the point? I was just baffled by quite a bit of this missed opportunity. Oh, and there's a ton of nudity in the unrated version, too! I really wasn't expecting that. Not complaining, but it was just unnecessary.

Now, with all of that said, I know that "The Dukes of Hazzard" television show was a silly, action, comedy series. But the movie goes for really low-brow humor that just doesn't work. It's crude, unfunny, and charmless. The driving scenes are fun, but it takes too long to get there and the ride isn't as thrilling as it should be. It has all of the entertainment of a flat tire during rush hour traffic.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The original Dukes - Tom Wopat, John Schneider and Catherine Bach - were all offered cameos in this movie. All three declined because they had read the screenplay and hated it.


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