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  Publicity Stills of "Wild Hogs"
(Courtesy from BVI)

Genre: Comedy/Adventure
Director: Walt Becker
Cast: Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, Marisa Tomei, Jill Hennessy, Ray Liotta
RunTime: 1 hr 39 mins
Released By: BVI
Rating: PG
Official Website: www.wildhogsmovie.com

Opening Day: 19 April 2007

Synopsis :

Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy hit the road in this rollicking comedy-adventure about a group of middle-aged friends who decide to rev up their routine suburban lives with a freewheeling motorcycle trip. Taking a long dreamed-of breather from their stressful jobs and family responsibilities, they can't wait to feel the freedom of the open road.

When this mis-matched foursome, who have grown far more used to the couch than the saddle, set out for this once-in-a-lifetime experience - they encounter a world that holds far more than they ever bargained for. The trip begins to challenge their wits and their luck, especially during a chance run-in with the Del Fuegos, a real-life biker gang who are less than amused with their novice approach.

As they go looking for adventure, they soon find that they've embarked on a journey they will never forget

Movie Review:

We knew something was wrong when the consumer advice for this slapstick comedy was “brief nudity”. True enough, what we saw weren’t a pretty sight for the eyes.

We also knew something was wrong when the funniest bits of this slapstick comedy were its end credits, where a spoof of the trashy “Extreme Makeover – Home Edition” tickled our funny bones.

Let’s see, what else could possibly go wrong in this Walt Becker-directed road-trip movie? Unfortunately, almost everything: right from the awkwardly embarrassing cast of middle-aged actors chosen to play the titular “Wild Hogs”.

Heading the quartet is John Travolta, who was incredible in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994), but sadly lost all cool in Roger Christian’s Battlefield Earth (2000). Then there is Martin Lawrence, who would be sadly remembered by us as the cross-dressing Big Momma in Big Momma’s House (2000) and its unnecessary sequel in 2006.

Third in line is Oscar-nominated William H. Macy, who has an almost perfect track record (if you count Jurassic Park 3 out). Last but not least, we have Tim Allen, whose voice we love as Buzz Lightyear in Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story series, but role we loathe in Brian Robbins’ The Shaggy Dog (2006).

So here we have four middle-aged men, who are trying really hard to be hip by wearing lean leather jackets and riding mean motorbikes. Beneath these lean and mean exteriors are sad losers who are attempting to escape reality by embarking on a carefree road trip.

Predictable misadventures happen along the way, and for the movie’s 99-minute runtime, we are treated to banal jokes which neither surprised nor amused. The litter of gay and poop jokes may be entertaining to some, but they are ultimately glaring fillers to spice up an otherwise lame plot.

To be fair, the four leads do look like they are having fun with each other, and some scenes are good-naturedly funny. But before we could get the chance to feel for their characters’ inner anguish and conflict, another series of slapstick humour befell upon us.

We almost feel sorry for Travolta, Lawrence, Macy and Allen, for having to go through the thwarting gags.

Marisa Tomei’s involvement in the movie as a bland waitress does not serve much purpose; while Ray Liotta’s tough biker leader is an uninspired stereotype of a typical movie baddie.

But when the credits started rolling and we saw Liotta’s character in his most hilarious bits, we decided that the filmmakers had the plain intention to make us chuckle with this movie, albeit its ultimate failure to do so.

But one thing for sure, the image of “brief nudity” by one of the actors will continue to haunt us for quite a while. Whose sacrificial performance are we talking about? We are not telling.

Movie Rating:

(The movie tries so hard to be funny - we can almost feel the embarrassment of the actors who had to star in it)

Review by John Li

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