Rated: PG-13 Grade: FCDF=D-
Directed by: Walt Becker, whose previous work is Buying the Cow and Van Wilder, which should tell you all you need to know about Wild Hogs.
Starring (tragically): Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, Ray Liotta, Marisa Tomei, Stephen Tobolowsky, and my favorite actor on Scrubs, John C. McGinley.
Summary: Four middle-aged men who like to ride Harleys take a road trip to discover their wild side, which brings them into conflict with a real biker gang.
Entertainment Value: F How can a movie with John Travolta, William H. Macy and John C. McGinley be this bad? Easy. It also has Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence and was directed by, well you get the point. Incoherent. Illogical. Frustrating. And definitely unfunny. So why did we finish it? Because I held out the irrational hope that it might be something worthwhile. Truly irrational in retrospect. The first funny joke in this entire movie came in the end credits.
Superficial Content: C Drugs/Alcohol: C , Sexuality: C , Violence: C, Language D, Illegality D. Much mild profanity. Some alcohol and drug references. There is some fighting and threatening. Bikers threaten people, break stuff, and steal things. A bar gets blown up. John C. McGinley plays an aggressively homosexual highway patrolman. Bill Macy opens a website inadvertently with deviant sex on it. PG-13 is right, even though no one should have to watch the movie.
Significant Content: D It’s hard to find any significant content here, but probably the closest thing would be to stand up for what’s right, even if it means putting yourself at risk. Buried in the rubble of this plot is the message that honesty will prevent a lot of problems since most of the plot hangs on John Travolta’s deceptions and pride. What I hated about this movie was the overwhelming theme that men are absolute dolts. Find me man worthy of respect in this movie. One. You can’t. However, I will admit that the four friends do demonstrate loyalty to each other, which is nice to see.
Artistic/Thought Value: F I’ve said my peace.
- John Travolta doesn’t want to tell his friends that his life is in a shambles, why is this? How does social approval cause pride and then keep us from sharing our troubles? How does this show up in the Christian community?
- Do you think the ending of this movie was plausible?
- In what ways does Martin Lawrence’s wife disrespect him? How important is admiration and respect for a man?
- How are bullies and gangs able to do bad things and avoid punishment? What happens when people ignore each other’s problems versus when they band together to help out?
- How important is adventure and danger and a challenge to men? What can the church do to affirm this about men and use it for the cause of Christ?
- Does any man in this movie represent a good standard of masculinity?
- A common complaint is that our culture is too dominated by men and masculine notions. Do you agree this is true? Does our culture tend to affirm men in healthy masculinity or not? What happens to men when they give up their masculinity?
Overall Grade: D- If you like tension-comedy like you’d get in Meet the Parents, you might like this. I do not. City Slickers is a much better, and time-tested, alternative.