This mutant, bastard stepchild of Easy Rider and City Slickers was miscarried some time during the process of conception. While William H. Macy can be counted on to deliver up some respectable films more often than not, he finds himself ensnared in a perfect storm found at the nexus between the cinematic dead zones known as Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence comedies. For his part, John Travolta’s career has been running on fumes for a while now. It’s probably time for him to do another Tarantino movie.
The Wild Hogs are Doug (Allen), Bobby (Lawrence), Dudley (Macy) and Woody (Travolta), a quartet of middle-aged, upper-middle-class guys with two things in common. For one thing, they like to ride around on their Harleys pretending to be badass bikers. For another, they’re all feeling trapped in safe, mundane lives, devoid of anything resembling adventure. Sort of like the script for this movie.
Anyway, they decide to head out for a week-long cross-country road trip. After about a half-hour of slapstick about as broad as a house-trailer, much of it involving a gay highway patrolman (John C. McGinley), they get on the bad side of the Del Fuegos, a real gang of badass bikers led by Ray Liotta. It has something to do with Woody accidentally blowing up their bar. I’m not sure, as I was barely conscious by this point in the story because the intellectual content of this movie actually feels like it creates a negative space in your brain.
Almost no one, not even the usually reliable Macy, turns in a decent performance. Everyone seems to be overcompensating for the crushing lifelessness at the heart of their characters. Even Ray Liotta, who can usually look badass picking his nose, is wasted. He’s about as threatening here as a miniature poodle. About the only bright spot in this movie is Crossing Jordan’s Jill Hennessy, who actually manages to bring a human dimension to a minor role as Tim Allen’s supportive, understanding wife.
I won’t give away the ending, but the showdown between the Wild Hogs and the Del Fuegos is resolved by a deux ex machina that’s about as lame as a three-legged bull. Make that a two-legged bull. No, better make it a blind two-legged bull. At least the cameo appearance that results from this ending is kind of cool, but hardly worth suffering through the rest of this movie.