DVD Review: Wild Hogs (Widescreen Edition)
Release Date: August 14, 2007
Distributor: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
· Walt Becker
· Tim Allen
· John Travolta
· Martin Lawrence
· William H. Macy
· Ray Liotta
· IMDb: Wild Hogs
by R.J. Carter
Published: August 13, 2007
"Wild Hogs" is the story of four men simultaneously entering their midlife crisis. Doug Madsen (Tim Allen) is a dentist who no longer is cool to his son. Bobby (Martin Lawrence) is a plumber who answers to one-word commands from his wife like a trained dog. Dudley (William H. Macy) doesn't have any problems with women -- because this computer programmer is too shy to talk to them in the first place. And Woody (John Travolta) is living the dream, with a high-paying job and a supermodel wife -- except nobody knows she's divorcing him and he's spent himself into bankruptcy.
The one thing all four men share is their motorcycle riding, which they've been doing since they were kids. They even have a patch that Doug's wife made for them, declaring them to be the "Wild Hogs." But they've never really hit the open road and lived the biker life -- and now that Woody needs a reason to escape the nightmare his life has become, he proposes the four of them do just that. Bobby has to lie to his henpecking wife to make the trip. Doug, however, after suffering a stress-induced panic attack at home later, actually receives support from his wife to take the trip as a way to unwind. And, of course, there's nothing tying Dudley down; he even gets a tattoo to prepare for the trip -- the rainbow-striped Apple of Steve Jobs!
Thus begins the strangest road trip of all, highlighted by camping trip bungles to encounters with a gay cop who mistakenly assumes the four are of similar orientation when he catches them sleeping together (and, later, skinny-dipping.) But the adventure is truncated, since we see the guys leave Missouri and drive straight into New Mexico. (No wonder my sister-in-law is so bad at geography!)
The plot thickens when the four enter a biker bar that's the hangout for the gang called the Del Fuegos. The Del Fuegos' leader, Jack (Ray Liotta), instantly pegs them for what they are -- suburbanites pretending to be real bikers. After a bit of bullying, he takes Dudley's bike and sends them all back the way they came. Woody, however, has another idea, and when he gets Dudley's bike back his plan for revenge on the Del Fuegos is elevated many many steps beyond what he intended, putting the Del Fuegos on a hunt for vengeance against the Wild Hogs.
Much of the middle of the film is the men riding to loud road music, leaving you adjusting your volume up and down. The final showdown between the Del Fuegos and the Wild Hogs almost lapses into predictability, as the townsfolk of Madrid comes to their rescue. But the ending is still worth it for the cameo appearance of the Easy Rider himself, Peter Fonda! It's a bit of a shame to say that the funniest thing about a comedy are the closing credits, but it's nonetheless true with "Wild Hogs" as the cast and crew scroll alongside the closing clips of Extreme Makeover Home Edition with Ty Pennington and crew rebuilding the Del Fuego bar.
E-Z Hogs. Damien Blade gives the Wild Hogs some free advice.
(L-R: Fonda, Allen, Travolta, Lawrence, Macy)
I found one easter egg on the Setup Menu, further down the signpost which, when activated, starts a 90 second interview with Orange County Chopper host Paul Teutul, Sr., who cameos early in the film and provided some of the bikes shown.
The rest of the bonus features include the feature commentary with director Walt Becker and screenwriter Brad Copeland, a sixteen minute documentary with Becker and the cast, joined by stunt coordinator Jack Gill who talks about putting the cast through motorcycle training.
Gill also hosts the three minute segment, "How to Get Your Wife to Let You Buy a Motorcycle," followed by an alternate ending, two deleted scenes, and a two-and-a-half minute "you just had to be there" reel of outtakes.
Audio can be set to English, French or Spanish, with optional subtitles available in all three.
Previews on this disc include "The Nightmare Before Christmas (in 3-D)," "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause," and "The Invisible." Additional selectable previews include Ugly Betty - Season One and Grey's Anatomy - The Complete Third Season.