REVIEW: THE DUKES OF HAZZARD: THE BEGINNING

CAST

Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls)
Randy Wayne (Honey 2)
April Scott (I Do… I Did!)
Joel David Moore (Julia X)
Harland Williams (Half Baked)
Sherilyn Fenn (Rude Awakening)
Willie Nelson (Angels Sing)
Christopher McDonald (Fanboys)

165770_full

Set in fictional towns of Georgia, Bo Duke is arrested for destructive driving in neighboring Chickasaw County. Luke Duke is arrested for blowing up illegal fireworks. Both of the teenage boys are paroled to the care of their Uncle Jesse in neighboring Hazzard County, sentenced to a summer of hard work on the farm. Jesse is carrying on the family tradition of producing the best moonshine in the county. Bo and Luke quickly tire of farm work and take an interest in some of the local girls of Hazzard. Attempting to visit the Boar’s Nest bar, they see Jesse meeting with Boss Hogg. Jesse is arranging for his regular bribe to the County Commissioner to look the other way from his illegal moonshine operation. The Duke boys inadvertently allow Hogg’s prize pig to escape, and it falls off the roof and is injured. Furious, Boss Hogg demands a sizable amount of money from Jesse, due in two weeks, or he will foreclose on the farm. Jesse believes his only recourse is his moonshine operation, but he cannot deliver enough in two weeks. Bo and Luke volunteer, and set off to find a fast car to do the job.

zeta-b

The boys enlist the help of their cousin Daisy Duke, who has just turned 18 but is somewhat of a wallflower who wonders why boys don’t notice her. She takes them to the high-school shop class, where they meet Cooter Davenport, who gives them a fast engine. They go to the junkyard to find a suitable car, but don’t like what they see. On their way home, they find some girls sunbathing next to Hogg’s Ravine while Cooter and the Duke Cousins are standing together at a ledge overlooking a swimming hole. From high atop their rocky cliff, Bo purposefully shoves Luke in to try to impress the girls. Immediately thereafter, Bo learns from Cooter that most people who jump in end up either “crippled, on life support, or brain damaged.” Not seeing Luke surface after plunging into the water, Bo jumps in to save him. Instead, Cooter is seen dragging Luke onto shore, while underwater, Bo discovers an abandoned 1969 Dodge Charger and believes it would be the perfect car for them. They retrieve the car from the pond, already in the iconic orange color with the Rebel Flag painted on the top. They clean, repair and repaint the car, and after adding their new engine, and The General Lee is reborn.12592_0_screenshotThe moonshine deliveries go well but before they raise enough money to pay off Hogg, the Boss declares Hazzard a dry county, and offers a $25,000 reward for anyone who uncovers an illegal moonshine operation. He will turn the Boar’s Nest into an ice cream parlor. Meanwhile, Daisy applies for a job at the bar to help raise the money. Hughie, the Boar’s Nest bartender, says she’s not the type of girl who should work there, and refuses her but she is smitten. She undergoes a makeover to impress him, cutting her jeans into very short shorts, wearing a shirt tied to show her midriff and she lets her hair down. The bar patrons are all stunned by how good she looks and Hughie hires her immediately, and agrees to take her on a date. Jesse then holds a large party to raise funds for the farm, but Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco arrest Jesse for illegal moonshine sales, and seize Jesse’s assets. Daisy, Bo and Luke visit him in jail, and he tells them that Boss is as corrupt as anyone, and the best way to get Jesse off is to find evidence of this. Bo and Luke soon discover Hogg’s plan. He wants to convince all the county commissioners in Georgia to ban alcohol, thus paving the way for a thriving ice cream business. More importantly, with all the ridge-runners in jail, Hogg will then be free to make a fortune selling his own illegal alcohol, turning the Boar’s Nest into a speakeasy.

zetaproject1

Boss Hogg wants the Duke family still, which produces the best moonshine in the County. When Daisy finds out Hughie is Boss Hogg’s nephew and only dated her to find out about the family secrets, she is devastated. The Dukes kidnap Boss and ride off in the General Lee with the police following in pursuit. They threaten to drive into Hogg Ravine unless he tells them his plan. He is too scared not to tell, and his confession is broadcast over the radio thanks to Daisy’s manipulation of Enos at the station. The Dukes then jump the ravine anyway (their first jump), and catch Hughie delivering illegal moonshine into Hazzard. The Dukes make Boss pay them the $25,000 reward, which they use to buy back the farm. Fed up with Hogg, the citizens demand he reverse his dry county policy and free all the people he had arrested for selling moonshine. Just as it seems the 112-year-old candidate who always wanted to run for county commissioner will finally win, he dies, leaving Boss as the only candidate, and he is re-elected anyway. Hogg summarily pardons himself for his misdeeds.165770_full

Dukes of hazard The Beginning is a good humoured and fast moving film that I think is very enjoyable. It’s better than the earlier big budget movie

Advertisements

REVIEW: THE DUKES OF HAZZARD (2005)

CAST

Johnny Knoxville (Movie 43)
Seann William Scott (American Pie)
Jessica Simpson (Employee of The Month)
Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Willie Nelson (Angels Sing)
Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman)
Alice Greczyn (Sex Drive)
Steve Lemme (Super Troopers)
Michael Weston (Garden State)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Andrew Prine (V)
Barry Corbin (Anger Management)

Cousin Bo (Seann William Scott), Luke (Johnny Knoxville), and Daisy Duke (Jessica Simpson) run a moonshine business for their Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson) in the fictional Hazzard County, Georgia. The cousins’ primary mode of transportation is an orange 1969 Dodge Charger that the boys affectionately refer to as the “General Lee”. Along the way, the family is tormented by corrupt Hazzard County Commissioner Jefferson Davis Hogg, widely known as “Boss Hogg” (Burt Reynolds), and his willing but dimwitted henchman, Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (M. C. Gainey).After Rosco has the General Lee wrecked during Bo’s attempt at winning his fifth consecutive local road rally, Billy Prickett (James Roday), a famous stock-car driver, enters Hazzard to participate in the rally. Meanwhile, Rosco plants a fake moonshine still (“’cause he’s too dumb to find the real one”) in Uncle Jesse’s barn and seizes the Duke property in the interest of eminent domain for Boss Hogg, forcing the family to temporarily reside with neighbor and Uncle Jesse’s love-interest, Pauline (Lynda Carter). Pauline informs the Dukes that Rosco seized another farm on charges so Bo and Luke investigate a local construction site and find geologic core samples with the help of bait-shop owner Sheev (Kevin Heffernan). Meanwhile, Coltrane makes arrangements to seize the General Lee as “evidence” from the local auto body shop run by the Dukes’ friend Cooter Davenport (David Koechner), who instead turns the car into a hot-rod and applies a new paint job and horn, in return for finally getting payment for all the work he has done (“…’cause that’s how this works…”) for the boys in the past.After retrieving the General Lee before Rosco can, the Dukes go to Atlanta to visit a local university geology lab, meeting up with Katie-Lynn Johnson (Nikki Griffin), a Hazzard county girl and the Dukes’ love interest, and her Australian roommate Annette (Jacqui Maxwell). At the lab, they discover Boss Hogg’s intentions of turning the county into a strip coalmine. They are later arrested by Atlanta Police after running from campus police. Back in Hazzard, Daisy learns, with the help of Sheriff Deputy Enos Strate (Michael Weston), that Billy Prickett has been hired by Boss Hogg to participate in the Rally as a ringer. Boss Hogg then heads to Atlanta where he informs the Duke boys, in lock-up, that they are too late to stop him and reveals that the vote on Hogg’s proposition is at the same time as the rally, explaining Billy Prickett’s involvement. During a transfer from detainment, Daisy helps the boys escape from the patrol car and they speed home to try to inform the townsfolk, escaping Atlanta Police, and the Georgia State Patrol after Bo out-maneuvers the city cops.Upon returning home, the Dukes discover that Rosco has taken Uncle Jesse and Pauline hostage, an obvious trap for the boys, and that Billy is in on the scheme because he’s ashamed of the town’s low status. The two race to the farmhouse to cause a distraction to the waiting Hazzard County Sheriff’s Deputies and Georgia State Troopers while Daisy and Cooter rescue Jesse and Pauline. Meanwhile, the college girls head to the rally with Sheev to inform the townsfolk about the vote on the strip-mining ordinance. Because of Sheev’s armadillo hat and lack of pants, no one listens, so Bo leaves for the rally while Luke and Jesse team up to foil the county and state police who are chasing Bo, interfering with the race. Upon crossing the finish line first, before Billy, the two continue racing back and forth all the way into town, leading the townsfolk to the courthouse just in time to vote against Boss Hogg’s proposed ordinance. At the courthouse, Daisy takes advantage of the governor of Georgia’s presence and TV cameras to convince him into pardoning the boys, so Uncle Jesse takes the opportunity to knock out Boss Hogg and gets a pardon for assaulting a county commissioner at the same time.The final scene shows a cook-out at the Dukes’ house where Pauline convinces Uncle Jesse, who could not be found because he was “using the meat smoker”, to get up and play the television series’ main theme. Bo and Luke are romantically involved with the girls in the General Lee when they are caught by Luke’s other love-interest Laurie Pullman (Alice Greczyn) from the intro of the film, who proceeds to chase them with a shotgun as they drive away.It’s reasonably faithful to the original, at least on the Duke side. The car is very, very good. And, if you can get over the simplistic plot and awkward attempts to bring it up to date, it’s a fairly fun evening’s viewing.