Wild Ride: Wild Hogs wasn't my first choice of films to see; that would have been Amazing Grace. However, after buying the tickets, the party I was with suddenly decided instead to see the movie starring Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy and John Travolta. Four middle-aged guys decide they've been henpecked, overworked, and underappreciated long enough. The four of them have a "gang" they call the Wild Hogs and they ride once a week. When Woody (played by Travolta) comes up with the idea of a road trip the other guys aren't so sure. Soon, however, as in typical predicatable Hollywood fare, the guys are all suited up and ready for just the open road. No cell phones, no pdas, just the bikes and the four of them. Tim Allen as Doug the dentist is playing a variation on his Christmas With The Kranks character. Martin Lawrence, as out-of-work Bobby, is henpecked by his wife and doesn't even tell her he's going on the trip. William H. Macy is cowardly Dudley; a man so afraid he can't even talk to a woman.
As the four of them set out they realize just how meaningless and banal their lives were. Along the way the find romance, encounter a real biker gang, evade a cruising cop (an actual cop who's cruising), blow up a bar, and save a town. The standouts in the movie are by far Travolta and Macy. Anyone who is a Macy fan knows how funny he is and Travolta, whom I've never been a big fan of, shows some real comedic talent. He just seems so comfortable and real in the film that I was quite surprised.
The movie does offer a few laughs and doesn't require any intellect but what I really had a problem with in the film is the subject of most of the jokes. Yes, four guys are hanging out and doing a road trip together so, naturally, there are going to be gay jokes. The problem is that the jokes are mined for laughs and there is an undertone of meanness; disrespect. The jokes imply that it's bad or wrong and I wasn't wild about that at all.
Bags of popcorn (out of 5): 2