The Dukes of Hazzard Movie Review

I have no problem admitting that the main reason I wanted to review The Dukes of Hazzard was to see Jessica Simpson strutting her stuff in some ass-cheek-hugging short shorts. Yummy! Much of the film's early buzz has been on Simpson's big screen debut as bombshell Daisy Duke. Yet what's been lost amongst all the discussions of Simpson's rump are the even bigger questions surrounding the reasons for reviving this small, unsubstantial television relic from the '80s that few of us remember.

Now, I know I'm not the only one seeing Hazzard because of Simpson, and quite frankly, she's the film's biggest draw. This is her Crossroads. But let me caution that while you'll come to see Simpson, it's really the zoom-zoom of that little orange 1969 Dodge Charger that will make you stay. When the film is all said and done, I'm guessing that you'll leave the theater wondering what all the fuss over Simpson was about to begin with.

Since most of us probably need a refresher, Hazzard is based on the mishaps of two hillbilly cousins Bo (Seann William Scott) and Luke (Johnny Knoxville) Duke. The two live in the fictitious county of Hazzard, Georgia where they deliver moonshine for their uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson) and look after their sweet cousin Daisy. The "good old boys," as the Duke cousins are called, also try to stay clear of Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (M.C. Gainey) and the crooked business dealings of county commissioner Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds).

It should come as no surprise that Hazzard lacks any sustainable plot. While preparing the Charger (known as The General Lee) for the upcoming Hazzard County Rally, Bo and Luke discover Boss Hogg's secret plans to illegally buy up most of the county's farmland and turn it into a lucrative strip mining business. Though Bo and Luke try to thwart his plan, their pursuit of justice is completely meaningless. The underdeveloped story only exists to provide excuses for Scott and Knoxville's crude jokes and idiotic behavior. In fact, this modern day Hazzard is not far removed from an episode of Jackass. What happened to the innocent charm of the original?

Hazzard is not a total loss. It's just that most of the film's best material comes at the end of the movie and during the final credits. Forget the highly-billed actors, The General Lee is the real star here. It takes us on several exhilarating, wild rides through the Georgia back roads and the streets of downtown Atlanta. The bigger and badder Charger, with its Confederate flag painted top, rumbles down the path ready to take down Coltrane and his police force with more firepower than ever before.

As for Simpson, she fills out her, ahem, daisy dukes and bikini tops quite nicely. But she looks and sounds absolutely horrid. Her natural beauty is hidden behind a ridiculously plastic-looking tan and gobs of unflattering make-up. She's all done up with little to do but sputter her limited lines in a wildly uneven accent. Simpson's ten total minutes of screen time are a gigantic disaster, hardly a debut worth gushing over. Too bad Hazzard's remaining 80 minutes aren't much better.

Makin' her way, the only way she knows how.

Cast & Crew


Comments

The Dukes of Hazzard Rating

" Grim "

Rating: PG-13, 2005

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