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Published on June 21st, 2008 | by simeon

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Wild Hogs

When four middle aged men all face a collection of issues at the same time, some people might think this premise is a setup for an emotional drama that will explore aging from a men’s point of view.

However in the new film Wild Hogs, the topic is skewered with hysterical results thanks to a great cast and some very funny moments.

When dentist Doug (Tim Allen), worries he has lost his edge and can no longer connect with his past glory, he convinces the three members of his local biking club to join him on a cross country trip from Ohio to California.

Along for the ride are Woody (John Travolta), who has learned he is broke and is getting divorced from his supermodel wife, Shy and socially awkward computer programmer Dudley (William H. Macy), and henpecked plumber Bobby (Martin Lawrence), who after taking a year off to work on a project that has not come to fruition, now finds himself facing the same plumbing issues that made him flee in the first place.

None of the men are happy with their place in life and are in need of a spark to lift them from their middle aged funk. The group sets off and soon finds one misfortune after another as well as some very awkward moments with law enforcement, male bonding, and an over eager family they meet along the way.

Despite this, this trip is going well until the group decides to stop for a drink at a local biker bar. Once in the bar, the leader of the Del Fuegos, Jack (Ray Liotta) decides to make life hard for the guys as he cannot stand suburbanites passing themselves off as bikers. He decides to take one of their bikes and not allow the group to venture further West down the highway in front of the bar.

Resigned to their fate, the guys are ready to head back, when Woody decides to fix the situation and sneaks back to recover Dudley’s bike and play a trick on the Del Fuegos. Everything goes according to plan until the bar explodes from the prank, and the guys end up running from the bikers who are bent on revenge.

The only issue is that Woody has not told the other three what he did, and has his friends convinced that he had a conversation with the bikers where they came to an understanding. Undaunted, the guys stop at a local New Mexico town for gas and learn that they must wait until Monday for the gas station to reopen.

Of course, Woody is freaking out as he knows the bikers will be out looking for them, and matters are further compounded when Dudley falls for a local restaurant owner (Marissa Tomei), and is eager to hang around for a few more days.

What follows is a funny set of circumstances as the guys take part in the local community while they wait for gas, which ultimately leads up to a final confrontation with the Del Fuegos.

Wild Hogs, is one of the funnier comedies I have seen in a while. I went in not expecting much, and I must say I was very surprised. The four leads work well with one another, and there are some very funny segments in the film, which I will not spoil for you, but suffice it to say the audience was in hysterics.

It is rare to find a comedy that not only makes you laugh but makes you leave the theater with a smile, and this film delivers.

4 stars out of 5


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