Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

THE DUKES OF HAZZARD; Smarter? Dumber? No, Just a Series Copy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

THE DUKES OF HAZZARD; Smarter? Dumber? No, Just a Series Copy

Article excerpt


I figure if a movie's going to have some gratuitous cleavage and short-shorts action, it might as well have lots of gratuitous cleavage and short-shorts action.

That simple formula, though, seems to have escaped the makers of The Dukes of Hazzard, because Jessica Simpson, the comely centerpiece for the marketing of Dukes, somehow disappears from large swaths of the movie.

And all across Hazzard-ville the anguished cry goes up: Why, oh why?

What: Like the car is more interesting?

The Dukes of Hazzard, the movie, is a passable imitation of the corny TV show, which had only one plot. And that plot is recycled again here, as rascally cousins Bo and Luke Duke, with the help of looker cousin Daisy Duke, drive real fast in the General Lee as they thwart the plans of nasty ol' Boss Hogg, who wants to . . . oh never mind.

The movie, to its credit, just seems to want to have fun. And occasionally it is, especially when it makes a teeny-tiny ironic joke on the whole silliness of it.

(The best line comes when Luke Duke, on a visit to Atlanta, is accused of being a hillbilly. "Actually," he replies sincerely, "we prefer Appalachian-Americans.")

But far too much of it consists of Luke and Bo (Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott) shouting "yee-haw" as they spin out around yet another corner. They get in some good reaction shots but don't cook up much chemistry together.

And every once in a while -- but not nearly often enough -- Simpson's Daisy comes along to dazzle the locals with her womanly charms. I'm sure if I'd paid any attention to her acting, I would be able to make some snide comments about it. But no can do.

Willie Nelson does fine in a few scenes as Uncle Jesse. Burt Reynolds, meanwhile, has a horrible hairpiece under which he plays a comatose Boss Hogg. Joe Don Baker fares better as the not-too bright governor of the fine state of Georgia. …

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