12 March 2007 | lebanesecuisine
Dukes in Hazzard in name only now
Growing up The Dukes of Hazzard was one of my favorite shows. The cast had charisma, and the show had an authentic, country feel to it. The 2005 movie was part of the "re-imagination" trend in movies that started with The Flintstones and continues today with this atrocity. Instead of re-imagining them in today's times they should have cast the younger Dukes in the 1960's when they would have been legit teenagers, to keep in continuity with the show. They should have done this with the 2005 movie, too. This movie is a cynical, straight-to-DVD-and-TV, bottom-of-the-barrel hack job and it barely held my attention.
The problem with the plot is that it's a low-rent version of the TV show. Aren't there any writers in Hollywood who can write an original Dukes of Hazzard movie? My guess is there are plenty, but the producers have too much contempt for their audience to think they would appreciate a gritty, true-to-the-spirit-of-Hazzard script. Fans of the original series shouldn't avoid it because of profanity, they should avoid it because it is Dukes of Hazzard in name only now.
The most important thing to me is the casting of Daisy, and they failed miserably here. In the series Daisy was a smart woman who happened to wear cut-off shorts. In 2005 she was a sexpot wearing cut-off shorts, nothing more than eye candy, playing the part as a parody. There's little to say about April Scott: she isn't even close to being a young Daisy in this movie. I'm not talking about physical proportions (although I think she's too thin for a southern Belle); I'm talking about charisma and the intangibles you need to play an iconic character. She doesn't have it.
The lameness extends to all aspects of the re-imagining. The characters have become lame caricatures of themselves, and Hazzard County is no longer the dusty, mythical Confederate backdrop it once was. There's no point in "re-imagining" the Dukes of Hazzard if you're going to get politically correct. The original series was uncynically proud to be Dixie, and that was a huge part of it's appeal. If this movie is a finger-in-the-wind to see if a new TV series will work, I hope it fails miserably in ratings and sales.
And Willie, did you really need the paycheck?