Right off the start Wild Hogs looks to be appealing simply because of the cast which includes John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, and Ray Liotta. However when you get numerous big names together, some of whom aren’t known for comedy, their meshing on screen becomes quite an issue. Regardless, I don’t anticipate this to become a problem with Wild Hogs.
Wild Hogs tells the story of four middle aged recreational bikers who are all going through a personal crisis. Doug (Tim Allen, Galaxy Quest) is a dentist stuck in a rut, he wants to relive his glory days but has too much responsibility and a kid who doesn’t respect him. Bobby (Martin Lawrence, Bad Boys) aspires to be a writer but is stuck in a job as a plumber, his wife wears the pants and he hardly does or says what he wants anymore. Dudley (William H. Macy, The Cooler) seems to suffer from an inferiority complex as he can’t seem to muster up the courage to talk to women, his life lacks excitement. Finally there’s Woody (John Travolta, Hairspray) he seems to have it all, a big house and a supermodel wife, that is until she leaves him and he looses all his money. Desperate to get a taste of life, on Woody’s suggestion the group embarks on a cross country motorcycle trip with no cell phones and no plan, just the west coast in mind. Of course along the way they run into their share of misadventures including a homosexual highway cop, a gang of bikers, and Dudley’s inability to balance on his motorcycle.
While Wild Hogs isn’t the funniest movie I’ve ever seen, it’s easily among the funniest of the year. You might have to be a bit older to appreciate the story, but the laughs are for the whole family. Initially I feared the paring of several better known actors, but they all played their roles out very nicely. Not to my surprise, one of the funnier roles in the movie was played by John C. McGinley, as the homosexual highway cop. Although not completely showcased in this role, McGinley is easily one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. Of course you get to see Ray Liotta in his typical psychopathic role, whom ultimately portrays a good tattoo clad biker. No surprises there, nor with the others who all played convincing roles.
So the acting is good, the laughs are good, really this is a funny movie, fun for all ages. It’s better than the Tim Allen movies you might have seen as of late, not quite as edgy as you would expect from Lawrence, just about bang on for what you could expect from Macy and Travolta in a comedy. My recommendation, rent this one before buying it as it might now be for everyone, but its definitely worth that rental.
Presented in 1080p 2.35:1 aspect ratio and encoded in MPEG 4 Wild Hogs comes to Blu-ray with some excellent looking results. First thing I noticed when I popped this disc in is how bright of a looking film Wild Hogs is, maybe too bright at times, but overall very impressive. The color palette used in the film is great, both vibrant and rich. Flesh tones maintain realistic looking hues for most of the film, although there are times they look too vibrant giving them an orangey finish.
Detail is impressive from Tim Allen’s man boobs to Ray Liotta’s stubble everything subtle detail is clearly present. The print itself is in pristine condition with no speckling and minimal grain. The only fault I could find in the transfer are the interior shots which are not as crisp as exterior, and often looking soft, but besides that this is a near perfect looking transfer. I got a chance to compare this to the DVD version and there is no denying that the Blu-ray version is a massive upgrade over the DVD version.
Touchstone has equipped Wild Hogs with a 5.1 Dolby Digital and 5.1 PCM track, the latter of course being the better of the two. For a comedy, Wild Hogs sure does use an impressive amount of bass and rear channel support, with impressive use of sound effects and music. Dialogue sounds great, coming from the front channels but there is a lot here keeping it from sounding flat. The Harley’s are loud with impressive use of surround and bass, creating impressive sound atmosphere almost as if you were riding one of the beasts yourself. The soundtrack for this movie is impressive with great songs from Bon Jovi and ACDC all of which sound great, with surprisingly very little balancing issues with the dialogue. The PCM track offers an impressive upgrade over the track found on the DVD which will definitely please fans of the film.
Unfortunately Wild Hogs isn’t jam packed with special features. However, what we do get isn’t half bad. The deleted scenes are presented in HD and the making of feature will provide a good amount of information on the films production.
- Audio Commentary – Commentary with Director Walt Becker and Writer Brad Copeland
- Deleted Scenes – 3 deleted scenes including an alternative ending. While none of the scenes offer anything totally different or important they are at least presented in HD.
- Outtakes – 2 ½ minutes of outtakes few of which are actually funny, which I found surprisingly when considering the cast involved.
- How To Get Your Wife To Let You Buy A Motorcycle – Jack Gill Stunt Coordinator discusses how you can convince your wife to let you buy a motorcycle. At at 2 min 49 seconds this feature hardly provides enough to warrant a watch.
- Bikes Brawls and Burning Bars – A 16 minute run of the mill making of feature. The various actors discuss how they prepared for driving their bikes. John Travolta and William H Macy discuss how they kept up with stand up comedians Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence in terms of ad libbing. The rest of the feature discusses the end fight scene as well as the explosion at the bar.
- Movie Showcase – Jump to the best looking and sounding scenes in the movie.
While Wild Hogs isn’t the funniest movie you’ll see it offers up quite a few laughs, and is a worthy rental for yourself or a family. If you already know and love the film, you will be happy to know that this disc looks superb and sounds almost as good. While the special features are slim there are a few worth checking out. So to put it simply, if you like it buy it, and if you haven’t seen it give it a shot.