Complete A-Z list

Wild Hogs


Stars: John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, William H Macy, Ray Liotta, Marisa Tomei, John C McGinley

Director: Walt Becker

Here's a film of two halves. The first 50 minutes is decidedly dodgy stuff, with lots of uneasy humour about our eponymous motorcycle heroes being mistaken for gays and/or perverts. Comes the second half and the film kicks into gear, becoming a lot more fun and making the most of its characters.

The hogs of the title are four middle-aged guys who clamber into their black leather and roar off on a cross-country bike trip to spice up their lives. Woody (Travolta) is a bankrupt businessman whose trophy wife has just left him. His comrades-in-wheels are dentist Doug (Allen), plumber Bobby (Lawrence) and computer geek Dudley (Macy), who's afraid to talk to women.

It's a bright idea, with a decent cast and (eventually) some enjoyable action comedy, but unevenly paced and scripted, with direction that's too slack in the early stages of the journey. That's when calls of nature are lovingly detailed, and the writers seem obsessed with moments of mistaken sexual identity.

Only when our uneasy riders fall foul of a very messy gang of hairy bikers led by Liotta does the film's comedy find its feet. Travolta cuts their fuel lines to prevent pursuit, but they're tracked down to a small New Mexico town where the best antics - and the climax, with a cameo from Peter Fonda - take place.

Wry-faced Macy gets most of the funniest bits, and it's Travolta who seems least at ease in a rambunctious ride that too seldom fires on all cylinders.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Buena Vista (Touchstone). Technicolor.
100 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 07 Apr 2007