It is sad that many comedies today are made on the basis of old-fashioned ideas. Most of them come straight from the Hollywood studios, whose production hasn't been fresh for a long time. In fact, many of those pictures are easily forgotten after showing. Take, for instance, Adam Sandler's blockbusters like "Click", "Spanglish" or "Mr. Deeds" or Jim Carrey's "Me, Myself & Irene" or "Liar, Liar". Still this type of lower-ambitious cinema is gaining popularity among European theatres. And Poland is definitely no exception here. "But it's all about the laughs", could an easygoing spectator say and I wouldn't agree more. I also enjoy funny movies, but I'm still waiting for a contemporary American comedy that will absolutely blow my mind. Maybe "Wild Hogs"?
The storyline involves a group of friends (Woody, Bobby, Dudley and Doug), who are fighting with everyday life problems. Each of them is dealing with a different inconvenience. These include divorce, solitude, a depressed, angry black wife or the monotony of an ideal, stuffy and schematic suburban life. Being tired of this goddamn existence, the four men are planning a motorbike trip to nowhere and get aside of the scheme that they are involved in at home. They reactivate their gang called Wild Hogs and drive through the American landscapes. Theoretically, this journey was supposed to change their lives… and it absolutely did.
The plot's starting point sounds astonishing and could have been a good way to create a high-quality Hollywood movie resembling the Oscar-nominated "Sideways". We have four men, who are suffering from a middle-age crisis and are seeking for the true meaning of life. They decide to go on a motorcycle trip to refresh their ageing bodies and feel young again. The idea could have gained an ironic and sarcastic tone, where the dialogues are rich in many anecdotes and passages with pieces of advice for life. Especially with a well-known cast (John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy).
Unfortunately, the idea has been spoiled and the script provides us with a typical commercial slapstick comedy. The gags are simply dull and old-fashioned. It isn't funny to see how William H. Macy is falling of his motorbike a couple of times. Even his character is a little bit disappointing. The authors present him as a ladylike foolish and credulous man, who has problems with dating girls. It could be a great retrospective for the symbolism of the one's identity's instability in this chaotic world. Instead, Dudley is presented as a geek that is not being accepted by many of his contemporaries and is even accused of having gay tendencies.
This is another problem in the movie. The script manages to create the other main heroes of the story as homophobic. As they behave this way, the authors gave them a chance to encounter a naked homosexual policeman and to teach Dudley how to dance with a girl (training was done in a man-to-man duet, of course). All of this homoerotic jokes are not funny and sometimes even repulsive. Maybe it's a hidden message for the American's attitude towards this sexual minority (and maybe it only affects middle-aged men).
Consequently, the movie follows the points that were continued earlier and keeps them in a very low quality. The whole idea of a sentimental "looking-for-the-aim-of-life" road trip is being lost and instead we are being provided with some unsatisfying and ordinary morals. According to "Wild Hogs", if you are a male and have a middle-age crisis, you should act as primitive as you can. You should go wild, be irresponsible and involve yourself in a one large masculine-only fight. The main principles are connected with total freedom, abundance from the common life and be a part of the large amounts of illogical violence. Smart, indeed.
The concept is totally broken. A very nice idea has been ruined to slapstick and homophobic jokes that finally result in the thing that can be literally called as "Hollywood crap". The only worth-seeing scene is shown when the final credits are played. Then we are able to see an incredible and unexpected parody of the reality show series "Extreme Makeover. Home Edition". But will we survive in this agony of American's stupidity that is shown in "Wild Hogs", just to laugh at the end credits? Ha, ha. Very funny.