Friday, August 19, 2005

A Movie Review - The Dukes of Hazzard

By H.A. Handy

I have to admit, when I heard they were making The Dukes of Hazzard into a movie, I was, let’s say, filled with trepidation. Why? Because The Dukes of Hazzard television show was good, fun, hokey and filled with fast cars, good looking good ol’ boys and pretty girls. You couldn’t beat it when I was younger, especially since I grew up in Leslie County which was right next to Perry County whose county seat was the town of Hazard. I mean, there were simply too many comparisons you could honestly make (and we were in Kentucky instead of Georgia). Plus, I had cousins who were young, fearless and foolish and had their own “Dukes of Hazzard” race where, well, one was playing the Dukes and racing down a curvy mountain road being chased by his brother in the local sheriff’s car they had been working on at the body shop. So, yeah, I have fond memories of the television series and I honestly didn’t want it messed with. Those were happy times, fun times, hard times, times I can never go back to.

When I found out who was playing which character in the film I was down right worried. Johnny Knoxville playing Luke Duke? Please! Couldn’t they find someone handsome to play Luke Duke? And Sean William Scott as Bo? Yeah, he can look scuzzy.

Having Willie Nelson play Uncle Jessie wasn’t too bad. I was convinced he could pull it off, and he was the only reason I decided I would go to see the movie.

The worst selection I thought the movie powers had made was casting Jessica Simpson in the role of Daisy. Jessica is a pretty girl and all, but after seeing “Newly Weds” or whatever that show was called, I wasn’t convinced.

Then I saw the video for “These Boots” and sort of changed my mind (she still doesn’t have enough butt though).

I can say, watching the movie was down right fun. It was fun in a nostalgic happy way I haven’t seen a movie in a long time. There were scenes where I could see my cousins doing some of the stupid things those guys did. I laughed heartily and gave up to the hokiness of the movie that was actually doing pretty good homage to the show.

Not all movies are made so you “think” about anything serious. Some movies give you time just to enjoy what is going on there on the screen and make as much fun of themselves as anything else they are doing.

Yeah, the movie could have been better. The cast could have been different (more handsome) but it wouldn’t have been the same movie with all of the chuckles and laughter I heard in the theater along with my own.

One of the best parts in the movie is when the Duke boys are driving into Atlanta and the reactions they were getting from the motorists and their confusion until they saw the Stars and Bars on the roof. This was an honest reaction in Atlanta. I can see it happening.

Go see the movie on the big screen people. It does justice to the car races and the hilarity of nothing less than pure fun. Don’t worry about analyzing it. Don’t try to read something more into it that what is there, because there really isn’t anything else there. Heck, just go see it for the soundtrack if you must, just go see it and enjoy and tell me what YOU think and what memories it brought out in you.

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