William H. Macy
Way back either a gazillion years ago or two thousand years ago depending on your religion and which bible you have handy, Adam was pondering, questioning his values, and wondering if there was more to life than hanging around the Garden of Eden watching Eve horse assing around with that damn snake in the grass. He wondered if the rest of his days would be spent doing nothing more than eating bananas and oranges, watching his hair get more grey, and trying to figure out what it was about a certain snake that captivated Eve.
For a long while, most of the stories Hollywood concocted on the subject matter revolved around the one man one mid life crises at a time dilemma. Sometimes the plot would center around one man’s lust for another woman, sometimes another man’s woman, or sometimes his daughter’s best friend or as in the case of Blame It On Rio, your best friend’s daughter.
Lester’s undoing was that he just never took the time to realize that the best way to discover yourself after forty is to go on an outing with your best buddies forever. I mean, didn’t he at some point see City Slickers where Mitch (Billy Crystal) and his pals Phil ( Daniel Stern) and Ed (Bruno Kirby)went on a Cattle Drive to rediscover and reinvent their sad and pathetic lives? If Lester was that horny, he could have gone on a Cattle Drive, found himself and possibly a nice looking cowgirl like Bonnie Rayburn (Helen Slater) to lust after just like Phil did. And let me tell you, I would have taken Supergirl over Mena Suvari any old day of the week. At any rate, it’s way too late for Lester but not too late for our newest group of fifty somethings plus one. Plus one? Well, you’ll see.
Although Lester was never lucky enough to go on a buddy driven cattle drive, Hollywood knows a good thing when they have one and once again have brought to the silver screen another saga of middle aged men feeling as if they have wasted their entire lives without doing anything interesting or exciting and are just biding time until old age, arthritis, and low box office receipts, sink them once and for all. For this 2007 replay of the men in flux plot, Touchstone Pictures lined up four familiar names that have all had big screen successes at various times in their careers. Our would be explorers this time around are Dougie (Tim Allen. Age 53), Woody (John Travolta Age 52), Dudley (William H. Macy Age 57) and Bobby (Martin Lawrence (Age 42), thus making Bobby the aforementioned plus one.
Dougie is a Dentist who does nothing but clean and pull teeth all day and has trouble relating to his kid who thinks the old man is a total bore.
So were they all once members of a motorcycle gang when they were younger? No, they weren’t. The reason they are the Wild Hogs is because Dougie’s wife sewed the Wild Hogs emblems on their leather jackets to make them feel better. To feel better about what exactly we are never told.
Later, we get another comedy bit where the guys go skinny dipping, and shortly after that they meet up with what turns out to be their main antagonists, a real genuine practicing over-the-hill motorcycle type gang called the “Del Fuegos,” who spend most of their time sitting in their favorite bar. The gang is led by Jack (Ray Liotta Age 53), and he and his bbf’s (best buddies forever) wastes no time in sending the Hogs on their way but not until after they’ve stolen Dudley’s motorcycle. Shortly thereafter Woody decides to sneak back to the bar to reclaim Dudley’s cycle, and in the process accidentally burns the bar down, an important detail that he fails to mention to the guys, just in case doing so might muck up the plot or the suspense if there really were any.
Tim Allen on the other hand, just doesn’t have the knack to make you sympathize with his character the way Billy Crystal has always been able to in his films. Tim Allen’s film career has been totally dependent on putting him in some outlandish situation and seeing how well he copes with it. In other words, he can only be as good as the script is, as was the case in Galaxy Quest. The strange thing is that although Allen seems to have top billing and is used extensively in the first twenty minutes to set up the premise, once the trip gets under way he just as well have headed off in a different direction considering how much he is given to do.
Bill Macy, who is the best of a very sad lot should have known better than to get involved or at least should have read the script before signing on the dotted line We like him, we like Dudley, but like everything else we just don’t care. And his impending romance with Marisa Tomei is never anything close to being believable. There are times when both of them looked as if they wished they were somewhere else.
But for anyone older than 10 or eleven, I advise that you only watch this at your own peril. And maybe I just figured out what really was bothering Lester in American Beauty. Perhaps he had seen the future and saw himself riding a motorcycle to the west coast with a gang of misfits. That would be more than enough to depress anybody. And because of that I have no choice but to offer Wild Hogs my grade, and that would be a D+. If only they could have figured out a way for a motorcycle to give birth to a baby calf, it might have all worked out in the end. There’s always the unfortunate possibility of a sequel to accomplish that though.. I dread the thought.