Friday, September 02, 2005

Low-Brow Car Crash Comedy


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AFTER Bewitched, here is another blast of nostalgia from Hollywood’s television past.

I cannot recall anyone ever being a fan of the red-neck Dukes Of Hazzard series — except, perhaps, for the cut-off denim shorts that one of its characters, Daisy Duke, wore in the show that ran from 1979 to 1985.

In fact those pants were so hot in those days that they were even nicknamed ‘Daisy Dukes’.

And here, they are brought back by the shapely Jessica Simpson.

To be fair, this low-brow comedy is all about fast cars in the Seventies’ Smokey And The Bandit vein.

Everything else falls short, especially the plot idea wich is not enough to fill a paper napkin.

The Dukes are two goofy cousins who deliver moonshine t the townsfolks in their souped-up 1969 Dodge Carger and making a fool of the local police.

Luke (Johnny Knoxville) and Bo (Seann William Scott), nturally, have run-ins with the county sheriff who has also been trying to find their Uncle Jesse’s (Willie Nelson) moonshine still.

Things hot up when Hazzard’s big boss, Jefferson Davis Hogg (Burt Reynolds), hatches a secret plan to strip-mine the county for coal and turn it into a wasteland.

To divert the people from finding out about this scheme, he organises a road rally featuring local boy Billy Prickett (James Roday) who is a famous driver.

If this sounds ridiculous, wait till you see how the two Duke boys and their other cousin, Daisy (Simpson), try to thwart Hogg’s evil designs.

Of course, everything they do involves their Dodge Charger, nicknamed General Lee, and other cars which are made to go through all sorts of flying stunts and breath-taking crashes.

One sequence even has Bo dragging a heavy safe all over town — ostensibly to crack it open! Other gags involve digs at African Americans and Japanese.

The Dukes Of Hazzard is directed by Jay Chandrasekhar (of Super Troopers) from a script by Starsky & Hutch writer John O’Brien.

Littered with Seventies nostalgia, it looks like a ‘sequel’ to Smokey And The Bandit with Seventies’ stars like Reynolds, Nelson and former Wonder Woman Lynda Carter in supporting roles. (However, it must be set in modern times as one of the race cars is sponsored by Yahoo!)

It is obvious that Chandrasekhar wants to keep this B-grade summer outing as infantile and giddy as possible — to attract the youngsters of America.

Why, some of its lines are so ‘bad’ they may even help to turn this effort into a cult movie.
Or help it to win an award. Not the Oscars, silly. The Razzies.


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