The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)

(On TV, August 2015) My memories of the original Dukes of Hazard TV show are dim enough that there was no chance that a remake would offend me.  Early on, The Dukes of Hazard does get to (re)establish its premise: Redneck humor, Southern-US rural charm, that iconic Dodge Charger, those voiceovers still frames… it doesn’t take much for the film to fall into kind of dumb charm, something helped along quickly by Seann William Scott’s sweetly likable performance as a soft-witted young mechanic well on his way to becoming a good-ole-boy.  (Meanwhile, Johnny Knoxville is unremarkable in the other lead role.)  The Dukes of Hazzard, big-screen version, does get a lot of mileage out of its own charm, but the effect gets a bit dulled as it becomes clear that the film won’t have as many car stunts as the premise would imply, and once the dumb corn-fed humor of the film becomes less surprising.  The conclusion feels underwhelming, although it consciously tries to feed the comic assumptions of the viewers.  So is it as good as it could have been?  Certainly not.  Is it watchable?  I’d say so.  Whether one outweighs the other is something that viewers will have to decide by themselves.

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