Cast: Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds, Willie Nelson
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Screenplay: Mark Frost and Michael France
Rated: M sexual references, drug references
Running Time: 104 Minutes
Cousins. Outlaws. Thrillbillies.
It was inevitable that 'The Dukes Of Hazzard' would leap onto the big screen, and now, thanks to Broken Lizard's Jay Chandrasekhar ('Super Troopers', 'Club Dread'), it finally has. Slipping into the boots made famous by John Schneider and Tom Wopat, Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville play moonshine-selling cousins, Bo and Luke Duke. Along with their ridiculously gorgeous cousin Daisy (Jessica Simpson) and joke-telling Uncle Jessie (Willie Nelson), the Duke boys love to get the goat of Hazzard County's most crooked law enforcement officials, including Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (M.C. Gainey) and county commissioner Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds). But when they discover that Boss Hogg is using his leverage to run them off their farm in order to turn Hazzard County into a strip mine for coal, things get personal. With the help of their faithful friends, Bo and Luke set off on their riskiest adventure yet.
This 2005 big-screen version of 'The Dukes Of Hazzard' re-visits the notoriously wild, free-spirited moonshining Dukes clan from Hazzard County, Georgia, made famous when the series first appeared on television in 1979. Although this version is set in the present day it retains many of the qualities that made the television series such a success, and if you enjoyed the tv series then you'll certainly love this.
The Hazzards, cousins Bo (Seann William Scott), Luke (Johnny Knoxville) and Daisy (Jessica Simpson), along with Uncle Jessie (Willie Nelson), make their living from selling moonshine - illegally made alcohol - and delivering it around the countyside. Always on their tail are the local law and the corrupt county commissioner Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds). The twist to this tale is Boss Hogg's plan to mine some of the county for coal and he needs the Hazzards land. The Hazzards discover his plan and spend the best part of the movie trying to save their land and destroy Boss Hogg's plan, often as recklessly as they can.
As with the tv series, another star is General Lee, a 1969 orange Dodge Charger, complete with its distinct sounding horn, which is involved in numerous car chases, races and "incidents". So many times this car, driven by and loved with questionable zeal by Bo, escapes relatively unscathed from certain car death that it defies all mechanical logic and certainly 28 Dodge Chargers were actually used whilst making the movie. Hang around for the closing credits at the conclusion of the movie and you'll see why there needed to be so many of these cars during a montage of outtakes along with a Willie Nelson song.
'The Dukes Of Hazzard' is really one big episode of chaotic and irreverent, careless behaviour on the part of the Dukes, especially that of Bo and Luke, and thankfully Knoxville and Scott do have chemistry and really do look like they were having a great time making this. But, just how much they get away with is constantly stretched to the limit and sometimes becomes tedious to the nth degree.
Jessica Simpson as the much lusted-after Daisy doesn't have to do much apart from show off her physical attributes and deliver a few token lines with a strong southern accent and is never challenged. Likewise, Willie Nelson's small role is mainly taken by telling jokes. Burt Reynolds gets to play the bad guy, albeit in a white suit, and walks through his role with ease.
Definitely a no-brainer, 'The Dukes Of Hazzard' will probably be hated by the critics but loved by the masses who will relish the often hyperactive action, the innuendos, and the cheeky disrespect by many of the cast. If you don't go expecting too much, you might just even enjoy the ride.
Rating : **