I saw it, so you don't have to! -- 'Wild Hogs'

Mike_lThere are some trailers that look so soul-crushingly awful, I instinctively start making fun of the movie without even seeing it. But is that really fair? I mean, maybe The Lake House had the potential to make me weep like Brokeback Mountain. Maybe Eddie Murphy’s performance in Norbit was as award-worthy as his turn in Dreamgirls. And maybe I was just too wrapped up in my feelings of superiority to go see ‘em. Well, no más, PopWatchers. I’ve decided that from now on, I’m going to tackle one movie every month whose trailer makes recoil in disgust — to find out if it’s as bad as advertised, or perhaps unexpectedly good. We begin the journey with the Tim Allen-John Travolta road-trip vehicle Wild Hogs, which got a C- in EW, and which your unfortunate correspondent (pictured, at the theater) found as uninspired and flavorless as the chocolate-peanut butter cupcake I snuck into the auditorium to accompany a small concession-stand Diet Coke that, much to my chagrin, cost me $4.01. (Don’t answer this, but what does it say about me that it was the one cent, and not the whopping four bucks, that really got under my skin?) Anyhow, here’s my by-the-numbers assessment:

  • Total running time: 99 minutes
  • Number of times I laughed during the film: 4*
  • Number of laughs per minute: 0.04
  • Most humiliating moment for each of the film’s stars: Tim Allen chugs gravy, eats stick of butter; John Travolta’s penis compared to crawfish; Martin Lawrence maniacally sprays rivals with ketchup and mustard; William H. Macy’s character repeatedly presented as butt of joke for eco-friendly decision to carry excrement in a plastic bag.
  • Number of scenes featuring icky "We’re not gay! Really, we’re not!" jokes/scenarios: 9
  • Number of times I suppressed a groan of pity for Oscar winner Marisa Tomei: 3
  • Number of times Travolta, Allen, Lawrence, and Macy shown lined up from behind while urinating: 2**

* Actually, five, but I didn’t count one guffaw caused  by Ray Liotta’s off-the-charts overacting as a violent, angry biker dude.
** Once with visible streams of urine!

Anyhow, that’s my take. If you joined me in contributing to Wild Hogs$38 million opening weekend, then by all means, share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (52 total) Add your comment
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  • Jason

    Thanks for taking hte bullet for me on this one. I will now mercilessly make fun of this movie, without the usual guilt I feel for not having seen the movie.
    Good work, might I suggest either “Are We Done Yet?” or “Perfect Stranger” for next month?

  • Adam B.

    That three times as many people saw this than Zodiac is a national embarassment.

  • Ceballos

    I think this feature is a great idea, and you’re a braver man than I for seeing these craptastic movies. I also wonder whether movies like this are as bad as they look, but I’m too poor to go and find out for myself.
    Also, that one cent would’ve totally made me flip out too! What IS that?!

  • cRAIG

    is there an actor (or actress) with a filmography worse than John Travolta in the last ten years? his last good film was Get Shorty, which i believe was 1995. embarassing…

  • Brian

    Totally great idea.

  • paige

    i dont like this experiment at all! youre just contributing to the paychecks of everyone involved. this a movie you illegally download. now since, this piece of crap made money- expect a sequel… and im sure you’ll be contributing to that also.

  • mike

    Next time, talk to the other movie goers and ask if the bad reviews and unfunny trailer mattered to them at all.
    Wild Hogs made 38 million. WHY?

  • Jamie

    Man, Slezack! You’re even sexier than I imagined! Whoa! Forget the movie, next time just put up another picture of yourself. It’ll save you some $.
    BTW, I’m planning to go see this movie next weekend with a bunch of friends. I’m sure it will be just as stupid as I thought. It should make my hubby laugh though. He’s the only reason I’m going. We went and saw Ghost Rider this weekend b/c I wanted to, next weekend it’s his pick. Ugh. Be thinking about me!

  • Howard

    Slezak, nothing that you’ve done, including the fact that you wish to come between me and Katherine Heigl, has indicated that you deserved to sit through this waste of celluloid. I couldn’t imagine which bills it was William H. Macy’s turn to pay in his and Felicity’s household that he needed the paycheck from this (I’m also bemoaning John C. McGinley’s appearance in this). And no, I didn’t contribute to the $38 million; the trailer kept me away.

  • Blown Potential

    Hey Michael,
    Your idea for a review was good; so good in fact that a friend and I started such a site 2 YEARS AGO.
    At http://www.blownpotential.com, we strived to take the Hollywood studios entire marketing concept into consideration and base our reviews as to if the movie met our expectations or not.
    Sadly, blownpotential.com is currently inactive (we could not get press cred. to see previews and advertising revenue was not covering all costs). But, I’m happy to see EW is off and running with our concept.

  • Ned

    Two of my co-workers just spent the last 15 minutes talking about how funny this movie was. I think I’m going to resign this afternoon.

  • Rose

    I suspect it’s getting big numbers because middle aged men feel this is something they can really relate to. And men make fun of us for “chick flicks” !!!
    P.S. Since this is your job, Michael, I don’t think you should have to pay for your soda – can you put it on an expense report?

  • Kim

    My brother and his group of middleaged Parrotheads saw it this weekend and said it was the best movie they’ve seen in a long time. They thought it was hilarious. Armed with that info and now this review, I will wait for HBO to see it. Could John Travolta be more full of himself?

  • aramis

    I saw it. But to balance the furies, I went and saw “Zodiac” as well. Obviously the latter was far superior, but WH was good for what it was: a one-time frivolously comical film that I will never watch again because the comic value expires after the first viewing.

  • Nose

    Jamie, I am with you…more pics of Slezak! Michael, there should be a pic of you in every Pop Watch and TV Watch that you do.

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