Veteran stars bring comedic view to ‘Wild Hogs’

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    “Wild Hogs” is hard to hate, and moviegoers will appreciate its slapstick humor – though it only poses as a great comedy.Doug (Tim Allen), Woody (John Travolta), Bobby (Martin Lawrence, “Bad Boys II”) and Dudley (William H. Macy, “Thank You For Smoking”) are four guys, in the throes of middle-aged mediocrity, who set out on the open road with only the wind at their backs. Only two things stand in their way: a highway patrolman (John C. McGinley, “Scrubs”) with the uncomfortable need for male intimacy, and a band of beer drinkin’ and carousin’ bikers, who hate “posers,” led by a mean, tattooed Jack (Ray Liotta, “Smokin’ Aces”).

    The beginning of the film glimpses into the worlds of these middle-age suburbanites, both pitying and relating the audience to their plights. The four men set off on their trip, and a dozen mishaps later, they reach the town of Madrid, where the sheriff, his deputies and the rest of their town are locked down by the biker gang, the Del Fuegos. Like the conclusion of a typical Western movie, there’s about to be a show down.

    This movie is full of veteran star power. Jill Hennessy (“Crossing Jordan”) shows up for a grand total of five minutes as Doug’s ever-so-sweet wife Kelly. Marisa Tomei plays Dudley’s love interest Maggie. It was disappointing to see Tomei not use more of her talent in this film, but hey, it’s about middle-aged mediocrity right? Also, Peter Fonda makes a brief cameo as Damien Blade, founding father of the Del Fuegos.

    With all this talent, this film should have been a comedy of epic proportions. However, perhaps the part of Woody was a little miscast. John Travolta may be able to “get down with his bad self” (think “Pulp Fiction”) or be the bad guy (“Broken Arrow”), but comedic side-kick? He isn’t bad in the role, but this film is filled with moments where he’s grimacing and scrunching up his face with his beady little eyes, and it lacks a little something. Stick with the disco dancing John … it’s what you’re good at.

    “Wild Hogs” was a funny movie, nonetheless. You may not remember much of it when you leave the theater, but you’ll have a good time while you watch it. Lawrence and Allen were cast perfectly in roles that suited their comedic abilities. William H. Macy does a surprisingly good job at playing a silly bungling misunderstood middle-aged computer geek. He was willing to go on their trip as long as there was Wi-Fi.

    As with any good comedy, stay for the credits, and you may see a cameo from a well-known television personality during a needless epilogue to the story.

    Whether you’re a biker or a “poser”, check out “Wild Hogs.” It’s pretty good and probably worth the price of admission.

    2 out of 5 stars