A review of “The Dukes of Hazzard” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: **

Rating: PG-13 for language, adult situations

Run Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

 

 

Diehard fans of the early 80s TV series may appreciate the finer points of B-movie pabulum within an A-level marketing plan but the rest of the public can safely pass.

The song remains the same; a hillbilly ditty based on a loose, aw-shucks charm and little else. Hell-raising cousins Bo and Luke Duke (Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville respectively) make ends meet by helping Uncle Jessie (Willie Nelson) with his moonshine biz, running deliveries and getting themselves in a heap o’trouble with the proverbial pitfalls of wine, women and song.

The goofy Dukes make the scene in their beloved General Lee, a custom jalopy with confederate soul.  Bent on winning Hazzard’s version of the speedy Grand Prix our boys find themselves butting heads and matching small-town wits with a motley crew of Southerners ranging from the meanest man in town (Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg) to the strong arm of the law and deliciously distracting farmer’s daughters.

When the going gets rough the boys call on cousin Daisy Duke (Jessica Simpson), a genuine Georgia peach who happily steps in and flashes her ample assets to make a point. 

Scott and Knoxville are rubber-faced magicians; left to their devices Dukes has loopy energy to spare. But hokey down-home vibes and snappy race footage can’t mask the fact that there’s not a lot happening in Hazzard-ville.

Simpson has generated most of the early buzz but much of her “performance” is relegated to the cutting room floor.  What little screen time she does have is purely eye candy, no emphasis on talent or delivery.

Silly scripting and shoddy editing trumpet the fact that, cinematically speaking, the dog days of summer are upon us.