topfivefilms.com Tuesday 18th January 2022
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The Dukes of Hazzard (12A)
Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz
Jessica Simpson: eye candy
Jessica Simpson: eye candy

Remakes and sequels, sequels and remakes.

It seems the movie calendar of late has hardly been overrun with original releases and it was with no small amount of trepidation, therefore, that I trudged off to watch this latest offering, a remake of the 1970's classic TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. I was hoping that Jessica Simpson (Daisy Duke) might at least be enjoyable to watch and that American Pie's Stifler (Seann William Scott) might do something funny, but I wasn't really holding out much hope.

And so it's with a slack-jawed expression of surprise that I can say I actually quite enjoyed this film.

Real-life redneck Johnny Knoxville (famous for Jackass) plays Luke Duke while Stifler takes on the role of Luke's cousin Bo. Them crazy Hazzard boys spend their days delivering Uncle Jesse's moonshine to the local population and being chased by Sheriff Coltrane for their troubles, pausing only to seduce the local ladies and partake in barroom brawls. Luckily, thanks to the General Lee (their infamous orange 1969 Dodge Charger) and Bo's superior driving skill, the pair are rarely brought to justice.

Jessica Simpson is shamelessly included as eye candy, which worked for me, but what really impresses is the film's other pair of big hits: the jokes and the stunts. Featuring what is fast becoming Stifler's signature comedic style, the humour in this film is vaguely silly, adolescent, bawdy fun which provides quite a few genuinely funny moments. When that is coupled with some gritty, realistic driving stunts that were, for the most part, not computer generated, you are already half way to a recipe for success.

The whole plot and style of the film is very much in the spirit of a 1970's TV series and as far as I remember, there are plenty of traditions carried over from the original show too. The General Lee and the boys get to jump over plenty of stuff – a classic and often-repeated stunt from the series which is still fun to watch, especially when the car freezes in mid-air to make room for some good old fashioned Southern voiceover.

As charming as all this is, however, I'd still have to pull up short of calling The Dukes of Hazzard "good". It's not too bad and there's plenty to like if you're willing to look for it, but there's not much in the film to warrant a repeat viewing, for example. However, if you're desperate to see something at the cinema, you could do a lot worse than this simple Southern romp at the moment.

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Length: 106 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site: http://dukesofhazzard.warnerbros.com/
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0377818/
Release Date: 24th August 2005

Top Five Rating: 70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0% (70.0%)
User Rating: 70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0% (70.0%)

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