Wild Hogs

By Mark Ramsey | 2007/03/04

God help me, I was in the audience for Wild Hogs, starring the same John Travolta whose career has progressed from Look Who’s Talking to Look Who’s No Longer Talking to Quentin Tarantino.

If this movie is the shape of things to come, Travolta could do more good for his career by affixing buxom mud-flaps to his jowls and hauling an eighteen-wheeler cross-country.

wildhogs_sweatytim.jpgLike the waistline of virtually every star in this movie, the “humor” here is broad. If your tastes run to slapping bulls and spraying condiments on bullies, then by all means have your parent, guardian, or grief counselor drive you to Wild Hogs.

Martin Lawrence is the young whippersnapper in this bunch of rotten bananas. With Travolta, Tim Allen, and William H. Macy, we go on a road trip with “no rules.” They swim nude – together, as men. They pee on the roadside – together, as men. They wait in vain for a half-decent script – together, as men.

It seems our bikerly quartet is suffering from a creeping sense of mortality – that late middle-age itch that no talcum powder can soothe.

“I’m wild and free and a man!” exclaims Allen. “Us too!” said Martin “Big Momma” Lawrence and John “Edna Turnblad” Travolta.

“Holy Moses,” yells Macy, “my prostate is the size of Tim Allen’s cokehead-era rap sheet!”

“And my breasts are extraordinarily tender,” said Travolta.

wildhogs_tape.jpgBeware: There’s an unfortunate clash of the homoerotic and the anti-Gay in this movie. As if half the movie envies the self-loathing of the other half. Although when it comes to Wild Hogs, there is plenty of self to loathe.

“I have an idea,” said Travolta. Let’s all don leather chaps and wrap our legs around a hog!”

“Stop reminiscing about Kirstie Alley, John” said Martin Lawrence.

Check out this clip from Ellen:

With a doo rag covering his head like a cranial straight jacket, Tupac Travolta was shaking his booty for what seems like hours before altering the studio drapes and styling Ellen DeGeneres’s hair for the first time since her teens.

As this movie winds to its incredibly welcome conclusion, we’re graced with an appearance by the once scarce Peter Fonda. “Remember what riding’s all about,” Fonda advises the cast. “It’s about saying ‘yes’ when your agent offers you a one-day shoot and easy money.”

“But where’s your bike, Peter?” asks Travolta.

“At this age,” says Fonda, “It’s my chair that has the wheels.”

Enter Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, still playing a gypsy peasant waif of 22 – even at 42. Marisa owns the diner in the micro-town where our heroes crash. Said Tomei: “I’ve fired so much Botox into my forehead my nose actually raised a white flag.”

Bill Macy falls hard and fast for Tomei, and together they twirl the night away in the first-ever small town hoedown with a horn section. Yes, between the deep-fried Snickers bars and the corn dogs there’s a full orchestra lurking, and I don’t mean the kind blowing into empty moonshine jugs.

It all leads to the Ultimate Confrontation where our heroes emerge righteous, transformed, and ready to tackle the few remaining years they have to live – and the even fewer they have to work.

By the end of Wild Hogs, the big screen had to be freshened with Febreze and I needed to be hosed down by a zookeeper.

Ride hard, but steer clear.


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