March 15, 2007 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Film | March 15, 2007 |


00:00: Now, as bad as the big-screen version of the Razzie nominated The Dukes of Hazzard was (and it was spectacularly bad), there was one scene, in which the General Lee jumped over something or another, that almost made the entire viewing experience worth it, just to relive (if only fleetingly) the testosterone-fueled joys of the original television show, which I understand retrospectively must have been targeted at my feeble, underdeveloped, Kool-Aid-addled toddler mind. In fact, if you want to keep those fond memories intact, never (never) revisit the original series in your adulthood. It would be akin to watching a videotaped version of yourself bragging about your innate lovemaking skills after your first sexual experience — you were an idiot, you didn’t know better, so it’s best just to leave it alone. The same, of course, should be said of “The Dukes of Hazzard,” but Hollywood couldn’t pass up the opportunity to remind us just how young and foolish we once were.

00:01: I have no idea who the balladeer is for this flick, but his narration talents are definitely not up to Waylon Jennings’ skills. Twenty-five years later, it’s still fair to say that Jennings was the best part of the original series. Whoever this guy is, it’s like replacing Rod Roddy on “The Price is Right” with whomever they have announcing now.

00:47: The movie purportedly tells the tale of how Bo and Luke Duke became the “Dukes of Hazzard.” As the film opens, they are 16. Bo Duke is taking his driving test, which results in a high-speed chase with the bumbling cops. Bo is played by Jonathan Bennett, who also starred in the Bachelor Party straight-to-DVD sequel, Bachelor Party Vegas. And I can’t freakin’ believe I missed that. It had Kal Penn and Donald Faison, for God’s sake. It looks like I’m not the only one who missed it; it has only six reviews up at Rotten Tomatoes, only one of which is positive, from Movieweb’s Brian Gallagher, who says it was a “nicely layered flick,” a “damn funny movie” and compares it to David Fincher’s The Game. Brian also loved The Benchwarmers and Welcome to Mooseport. I should invite Brian to my poker game; we could use a guy who carries an ounce with him everywhere he goes.

02:03: Bo wrecks his station wagon, hops out, and asks, “Did I pass?” The narrator says, “No, Bo. You sure as shit didn’t.” It’s going to be a long goddamn movie.

02:10: The narrator tells us that Luke Duke (Randy Wayne) lived four counties over, and thought the way to a woman’s heart was “blowing shit up.” He proves it by carpet bombing the county fair with fireworks.

03:55: OK, now we’re getting somewhere: Bo and Luke’s parents, in an effort to rehabilitate them, sent them to Uncle Jessie’s farm. I’d always wondered how they wound up there. Anyway, the two rather dislike each other at this stage of their lives, which is fair, because I already hate them both.

04:35: Uncle Jesse welcomes them to Hazzard. Uncle Jesse is again played by Willie Nelson. Damn it. He must owe the IRS again; there is no other way to explain why he’d appear in this. Or maybe he and Brian Gallagher smoke weed together.

6:30: Harlan Williams is back to play Roscoe. His entire career is one long continuous shtick, but I’ll admit, it’s a decent shtick in incredibly short doses. But why do I get the feeling that I’m going to get a monster helping of Harlan today?

08:00: Daisy Duke is played by April Scott, who was “Girl in Bikini” on an episode of “Entourage.” I doubt this role will be much of a stretch. She’s wearing glasses and has her hair up in a ponytail, which suggests that — at some point — a “Hot for Teacher” make-over is all but certain.

08:30: Daisy signed a virginity certificate in church, saying she wouldn’t have sex until she got married. Bo and Luke are crestfallen. The incest vibe is still kickin’. God bless the Hazzard.

10:00: The narrator never shuts up. He just prattles and prattles, which wouldn’t be so bad if it were Waylon Jennings. But this guy is the human root canal, and he’s drilling into my last goddamn nerve.

11:35: Uncle Jesse, it appears, is helping Boss Hogg get elected as mayor. Or something. That’s an interesting twist. Boss Hogg is played by Christopher McDonald, who must be the king of straight-to-DVD sequels now, following his recent role in American Pie: Baked Excrement. Oh, here we go: Boss Hogg is extorting Uncle Jesse; he wants campaign contributions in exchange for silence. He tells Jesse he has two weeks to come up with the money or he’s sending Roscoe out to shut down the farm. Jesse is confused because, up until now, he and Boss Hogg were friendly competitors in the moonshine market.

17:03: Bo and Luke Duke offer to run shine to help Jesse raise money. All they need is “a fast car.” Don’t you just love Duke mythology? It’s so rich and fascinating — what do you bet that they are sent on a pilgrimage to Tibet, where the General Lee falls from the sky like a beacon of light?

18:22: Two scantily clad women are rubbing lotion on one another; oh shit! One of them is the easy girl from “The Real World.” Sorry, that doesn’t narrow it down much. It’s Trishelle. She’s parlayed that MTV notoriety into quite the career, hasn’t she? I think that hers was the season I finally gave up on “The Real World” once and for all. Here are some interesting tidbits for those who lost track of Trishelle after her MTV run: She was on 2004’s “Surreal Life,” where she hooked up with Andy Dick (he’s straight?) and was rebuffed by Vanilla Ice (really?).

21:04: Joel Moore plays Cooter (we’ll also get to see him in next year’s Paris Hilton tour de force, The Hottie and the Nottie). Cooter is a fourth-year senior. He’s going to help them to build the car; he says he’ll try anything once, “except guy on guy. Hoo! I’m just kiddin’. I’d try that.” Man. If Ben Jones were on set, he’d rip that guy’s testicles off and feed them to him. But let’s be honest here: There was always something a little sexually deviant about Cooter, wasn’t there? His name is Cooter, for God’s sake.

21:42: Bo Duke races a go-cart through a women’s locker room. Gratuitous nudity ensues as the girls race out of the shower and chase the Dukes down the hall — it’s so ’80s. Enos, unsurprisingly, is a hall monitor. Daisy convinces him to lay off the Duke boys, and he obliges.

25:48: Two more naked women on a rock, sunbathing. Bo’s kickass pick-up line: “Ladies, do me!” That’s how I met Mrs. Pajiba-Hyphenate, you know. If you’re curious, there’s no “doing.” They fall into the ravine, where they find a ‘69 Dodge Charger at the bottom. Now you know where the General Lee came from. The bottom of a ravine. It has the Dixie flag already painted on top, which elicits this response from Bo: “It’s from the Civil War.” I can tell you from experience, too, that the Civil War is the only thing they teach in history classes in Southern schools, which we attended with no shoes and a wad of tobacco in our cheek.

30:00: Only Bo’s side door is welded shut. Cause he likes to slide in through the window. Luke prefers to open his door; the implication here is that Luke is gay. When I was seven years old, I used to jump into my father’s car window. Sometimes, I’d play Dukes of Hazzard with his parked car, too; at least until I released the brake and plowed it into the neighbor’s garage. That was a banner day. You Northerners ever heard of a switch? You pick them yourself. I’ve got a little phantom ass pain right now.

31:00: I think my evolutionary survival instinct is broken. I can actually feel my will to live dry up inside of me and still I can’t bring myself to turn off this film. I’m like a Praying Mantis just begging to have my head bitten off.

32:00: They decide to name the car after the “greatest general of all.” They are referring, of course, to the one that fought to keep slavery legal. And now an entire new generation of dumbasses will regale the man.

34:00: A quick montage demonstrates that the Dukes quickly became “the fastest shine runners in Hazzard history.” Splendid. You know, I drank moonshine once. At a party with a bunch of Republicans. I remember asking what their same-sex top five was. Soon thereafter, somebody put me in a cab and I woke up in my bathtub.

36:00: Daisy walks into the Boar’s Nest and asks for a job. She falls in love with the manager. His name is Hughie (Todd Grinnell). He rebuffs Daisy. Because she’s homely Daisy — she has yet to undergo her ritualistic Van Halen makeover. Here’s her impetus.

36:30: Trishelle is back. She and her sister are at a table with the Dukes and Cooter. Cooter implies once again that he likes the loving embrace of men. Trishelle and her sister take their cue and leave — they have to teach erotic dance lessons at the senior center.

37:00: The manager of the Boar’s Nest, Hughie, drives a BMW and adores his cell phone, which confirms the obvious: The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning is set in modern day, so the timeline logic of The Dukes of Hazzard makes absolutely no sense. In 2007, the Dukes are 16; in 2005, they were in their 30s. I just felt my brain rip in two.

38:54: Boss Hogg gives a speech establishing Hazzard as a dry county. He’s declared war on moonshiners. There’s your narrative hook, folks.

43:00: Daisy feels spurned by the manager of the Boar’s Nest, so she finally endures the requisite She’s All That makeover, revealing that beneath her glasses and pony tail, she’s actually quite the little harlot. And, as always, I find the pre-made over girl infinitely more attractive. I’m all about the Lisa Loeb glasses, folks.

44:14: Sherilyn Fenn plays LuLu Hogg. Man — I knew she shouldn’t have taken that role in Boxing Helena. It’s been all downhill since. The Duke boys are at Hogg’s house. LuLu is stuffing a turkey, and making as many inappropriate double entendres as possible: “You wanna stuff her body cavity. Stuff it good. Get deep inside there. Stick it in there, Luke. C’mon! … Now the most important part: We baste her with hot juices.” The worst part about reviewing DVDs is that there is absolutely no hope that the projector reel will break.

49:14: Made-over Daisy Duke makes her appearance at the Boar’s Nest. She gets the Jessica Simpson treatment — the camera starts at her high heels and works its way up slowly. Rednecks ogle. Hoot. Holler. Put their heterosexuality out on display. I get the feeling that the Boar’s Nest wouldn’t be a good place to ask the customers, “What’s your same-sex top five?” It takes a man who’s a lot more comfortable with his heterosexuality to play this game. Here’s mine: Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Vince Vaughn, Dave Eggers, and Jon Bon Jovi — oh, c’mon now. Don’t poke fun. He’s a good-looking guy. The TV Whore used to have Steven Tyler on his list — now, who is worse?

51:30: Uncle Jesse is singing at a strip club, raising money or something. I suspect this was just a contrivance that allowed Willie to sing. Cooter is rubbing his face into one of the stripper’s breasts. This is classy stuff, people.

53:21: Oh lord, Daisy is about to break her virginity pledge with Hughie. They’re out on the front porch.

54:24: Scratch that. She’s a dry-hump advocate. Hughie is in for a painful evening. What did we call it back in high school? Oh yeah — denim intercourse! Good times.

55:30: Luke wanders off with Trishelle. He and Bo get drunk with Trishelle and her sister. Trishelle’s acting talents are remarkable. It’s amazing that no one from the Academy has thought to bring an Oscar statue straight to the set. It’s in the bag.

59:00: After the Duke boys leave, Roscoe and Boss Hogg break up the party at the strip club. Uncle Jesse is toted off to the clink.

61:24: On Uncle Jesse’s advice, the Dukes head over to Boss Hogg’s house and try to uncover some “important documents.” They apparently have to distract LuLu to accomplish this, which suggests that Luke may finally lose his virginity. He offers to be LuLu’s “special helper.”

63:00: LuLu says: “Mind if I slip into something a little more boner-inducing?” Who the hell wrote this? Shane Morris. Damn it. He has absolutely no previous credits to mock. Whatever: Shane Morris, you’re a disgrace to the screenwriting profession.

64:42: Right before Luke pops his cherry, Boss Hogg drives up. He runs into LuLu’s bedroom with a shotgun; Bo knocks him out with a fireplace instrument. He gets up; shoots at them. Then he sics Roscoe on them, at which point Luke tosses a “shoeshine (manure) bomb” into Roscoe’s car. Boss Hogg to Roscoe: “You stink so bad that your kid’s kids will stink.” Another brilliant one-liner, Morris.

69:00 Enos has been deputized: a hall monitor with a gun. As I recall, he would later leave the force. And that chubby guy replaced him for a year — Cletus! And then they were both on the show, right? This was after Wopat and Schneider left the show for a year over a contract dispute. And then we got Coy and Vance, who, as I recall, sucked. Second-graders who got stuck with the Coy and Vance lunchbox got the tar beat out of them on a daily basis.

70:10: The Duke boys dress in drag and travel to the Boar’s Nest to investigate something or another. Roscoe makes a pass at Luke, grabs his ass. “Don’t get fresh, sheriff.” “Oh my, you have a grip like an anaconda. You could swallow me whole, too.” Chalk another one up to Morris, y’all.

72:06: Daisy traipses around to distract the cops while the Dukes check in the office; gets whip cream on herself, licks it off, etc. etc. ad infinitum. Wasn’t this a family show?

73:16: Uh oh. Turns out that the manager of the Boar’s Nest, Hughie, is in cahoots with Boss Hogg. My all-time favorite word is “cahoots.”

73:24: Luke, still in drag, makes a menstruation joke. It is spectacularly unfunny. Even less funny than the first time it was used in Sorority Boys.

76:36: Bo and Luke have some sort of falling out. I’m not sure what happened; I zoned out. But Roscoe just foreclosed on the Duke farm. Jesse is still in jail. Things are bad in Hazzard County. This is where Waylon Jennings would shine.

79:00: Bo is giving some speech to Luke about his love of Hazzard. He convinces Luke to come back to the farm. While Luke was running away, he saw a Hogg truck delivering ice cream and realizes that the ice cream truck is a masquerade for moonshine running.

82:00: Daisy is bummed that her boyfriend was a bad guy. Bo tells Daisy not to worry; that he and Luke wanted to “get nasty” with her on several occasions. Nothing like the promise of incest to cheer a girl up, eh?

83:24: It’s election day.

85:00: Damnit. I zoned out again. Roscoe is in hot pursuit of the Dukes. I don’t know why, but Boss Hogg is in the backseat of the General Lee.

85:26: Here we go. They’re about to jump the very ravine they found the General Lee at the bottom of. Boss Hogg is terrified, confesses his scheme. The Dukes have their CB radio on, so everyone in town heard Boss Hogg confess. It doesn’t stop them from jumping the ravine, though.

87:00: Lame. It looked like some dude with a hot wheels action car and a piece of string filming a close up.

88:25: Here’s the requisite happy ending, where everybody gets off free. The city votes for some drunk as mayor, who immediately dies, making Boss Hogg the mayor again. He pardons himself.

90:45: Luke finally loses his virginity to … Trishelle. Who takes off her top. There you go folks — some dude with nothing better to do has a reason to watch this movie now. I hope it’s worth it, partner.

93:00: Over the credits, there is some fucked-up hip-hop song that heavily samples from John Anderson’s “Just a Swingin’.” When I was nine years old, I had a “Swingin’” T-Shirt. It was, like, the achy-breaky heart of 1983. Does anyone else remember this song?

Well, that’s it, folks. And looking ahead on the schedule, there’s not another straight-to-DVD travesty for at least a month, thank God. I don’t think I can do another real-time review for a while. This one sapped the life out of me. Still, in mid-April, we do get to look forward to National Lampoon’s: Pucked, featuring number five on my same-sex tops: Jon Bon Jovi, as well as Cary Elwes (the rich man’s Bruce Campbell) and Curtis Armstrong. Exciting times are ahead.

Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife in Ithaca, New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.

"Never Meanin' No Harm"? I Beg to Differ.

Real-Time Review of The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning / Dustin Rowles

Film | March 15, 2007 | Comments ()






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