Wild Hogs (2007)

While I'm not a fan of motorcycles (we call them "donor cycles" in the hospital for a reason!), there are plenty of middle aged guys that acquire them during their midlife crisis years- in fact I know a few. Using this sociological phenomenon as a backdrop, the film Wild Hogs takes a look at a bunch of guys, and their need for the open road.

We have John Travolta, William H. Macy, Martin Lawrence and Tim Allen all stuck in their lives. They decide to shake it up a bit, and take a trip from Cincinnati to California on their motorcycles. Along the way, they have some humorous misadventures- their tent burns, a run in with the law, skinny dipping in a mountain lake when a family arrives, and a run in with a biker gang- the Del Fuegos. It all ends up in a show down in Madrid, New Mexico (as an aside, a nearly abandoned mining town that is having a renaissance as an artist colony, a real interesting place to visit if you ever get the chance, and have the chili at the local saloon) where Macy meets a local, played by Marisa Tomei. Our bikers have it out, and the Wild Hogs (big surprise) emerge victorious.

Wild Hogs reminds me of the film Dumb and Dumber. There is a lot of physical comedy, and we're never quite sure when Macy is going to fall off of his bike again. While humorous at first, it does get old as the film progresses. Also, while each of the scenes is fine, they didn't add up to a greater whole. While they do make it to California, I don't get a clear sense that our characters are sufficiently changed for their experience, and won't go right back to what they were upon their return to their homes in Ohio. While any road trip film is more about the journey than the destination, Wild Hogs is more out of balance than most.

I don't want to leave you with the impression that this was a bad film. It was well acted, and I was engaged through most of it. I think I just expected something less adolescent from the star studded cast. If you want some light physical comedy, and don't expect a deep story, than Wild Hogs is a pleasant diversion.


Overall Grade: B

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