Friday, March 02, 2007

Does this look bad, or what?

If the preview trailers look awful, just imagine what the movie’s like.

Wild Hogs, the laughfest with John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy, starts this weekend. From the preview trailers, it looks like the studio poured a lot of money into movie star salaries, motorcycles, cars, explosions and costumes. (Who knew there was a stretchy leather fabric for Travolta’s motorcycle pants?)

It looks like another predictable road-buddy movie. It’s been done so many times before — think City Slickers on Harleys. Who are these supposed movie critics who feed the studios lines like “Travolta, Allen, Lawrence and Lacey are a comic dream team”?

I suspect, as with most movies of this quality, that the best laughs are in the trailers, and none of those is original: guy gets poked by bull (Bugs Bunny did it best); bird poop on face; fire goes out of control. There is nothing new, nothing even remotely resembling some thinking. It’s a complete formula. We get the whole ho-hum plot from the previews.

I will even predict the ending: all four guys return home, chastened, with a renewed appreciation for their wives and families, and a release from whatever obsession had alienated them and prompted the road trip.


The studio’s aiming low: it even provides labels for the one-dimensional characters: “the rich guy,” “the geek.” We don’t even have to think. Not that figuring out those labels requires much thought.

Do we need mindless comedies? Absolutely. But they should be funny. So at least make the jokes unpredictable.

Yes, I know I’m criticizing without having seen the movie. So if I’m off base, you can criticize me later.

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