Wild Hogs

2007, Movie, PG-13, 99 mins


Four suburban motorcycle buffs — the Wild Hogs — try to outrun the male-menopausal blues in this formulaic farce, fueled by a bizarre mix of homosexual panic and prurient fascination with all things bent. Doug Madsen (Tim Allen), Woody Stevens (John Travolta), Bobby Davis (Martin Lawrence) and Dudley Frank (William H. Macy) were once wild and crazy young bucks. But that was before they became portly pillars of the community with mortgages, families and boring jobs. Plumber Bobby is back to snaking out clogged toilets after the year off he spent not writing a book, Doug is a dentist — not even an orthodontist — and Dudley, the mild bunch's token single guy, is a computer programmer who can't shut down the kinky porn pop-ups he accidentally opens while trying to impress a babe with his big technology. Woody's wheeling and dealing bought him a McMansion and a trophy wife, but now he's flat broke and the ungrateful gold digger (a swimsuit model he no doubt married for her world-class mind and kind nature) has filed for divorce. Doug's sweetly condescending wife (Jill Hennessey) treats him like an 8-year-old and Bobby is chained to an emasculating bitch (Tichina Arnold) whose outrageous demands include contributing to the family finances. Woody prescribes a road trip for their ills, but the minute they run into some real bikers, they're outed as girlie-man poseurs. And to make matters worse, Woody — unbeknownst to the others — accidentally blows up the Del Fuegos' bar, setting the stage for a showdown. But first, a Tom of Finland-style motorcycle cop (John C. McGinley) misunderstands the nature of their camaraderie, a mincing karaoke buff (Kyle Gass) shakes his doughy moneymaker while singing Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha" at a small-town chili festival, and sensitive Macy keeps acting, you know, gay, sniffing Woody's neck because his cologne smells so good, spooning half-naked on the communal inflatable mattress and insisting they go skinny-dipping. There's admiring talk of bull balls (plus a threat to bite the hogs' testicles off) and, oh yes, a DELIVERANCE (1972) joke. Squeal like a pig, wild hog! A couple of homophobic jokes is just ignorant, but in a formulaic slapstick comedy, the obsessive nature of director Walt Becker (NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VAN WILDER) and writer Brad Copeland's (TV's Arrested Development and My Name Is Earl) interest is just plain weird. Peter Fonda's cameo appearance is a cute fillip, but hardly worth the wait. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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