The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning (2007 TV Movie)
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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?
To start with if we are to believe that this version of the Dukes tale is "the beginning" then the story should begin at an earlier time instead of the present day.
Additionally, the story isn't particularly compelling and doesn't reveal anything new about the origins of the Dukes of Hazzard but is instead another opportunity for the star of this franchise, the General Lee, to shine one more time which it indeed does. Humor and silliness is abundant and the eye candy is there but one is left with the feeling that this movie wasn't properly executed which perhaps explains why Warner's decided to skip releasing this at the box office.
This is a lot of T&A, sometimes bare and plenty in tight outfits. Obviously, the filmmakers know what they're going for. This is a softcore B-movie with whatever scraps they can gather. A prequel to Dukes was always going to be a high hill to jump. This is giving up before they started. None of this is that good. Sadly, none of it is expected to be good. They lured Willie Nelson back and brought out an unfunny version of Harland Williams. The two young new actors lack the charisma to lead. April Scott has her impossibly skinny waist and her Barbie-like figure. The story is a mess and none of it is funny.
Second the questioning of language and half naked girls... well it was American TV and that was the only reason you never had more in the show. So it is a teenage romp looking for excuses to make bad sexual jokes and show topless girls. That is all it is No classic was wreck and all this discussion on how the movie should have been made to hold a timeline, as though a piece of history needed to be presented properly... come one! yes I watch it when I was a boy and the fact that it was great entertainment for us as pre or early teens says something about the original... let not try to glorify mediocrity... There were some cutting edge shows in the 70s for the time period and this is hardly one of them. SNL, All in the family, Second city TV, MASH, Monty Python to name a few did something no one else did at the time.
So watch this movie if you want bad jokes, stupid dialog and an occasional excuse to see breasts bouncing around. Otherwise just keep moving on
This new movie, even with it's minor profanity (which would have worked better omitted, in my opinion), was still a funny and enjoyable movie. The story is a bit unique as it tells the story of how the towns folk started off before the '79 series made its debut, surrounded by the typical Dukes of Hazzard cliché'd plot. The movie keeps you entertained with a good amount of action, car chases down the dusty roads of Hazzard County, crooked cops and shine runners. A typical 70's country environment all set in a modern day environment which seemed out of place for some parts of the movie.
Everyone did a fine job acting their respective roles, even though I still don't enjoy Willie as Uncle Jesse, he did a much better job in this move than he did in the '05 movie.
With it's few flaws, it's still a pretty enjoyable movie for any action/comedy fans, or fans of the original series. It's like coming back home again.
Comments: A really juvenile and poor attempt to make a prequel of the "Young " kind. Supposed to follow in the wake of Dukes of Hazzard (2005) but compared to that the previous looks like a masterpiece of class and intelligence. And that is saying some. The jokes in this prequel is crude, and mostly not funny at all. It is very juvenile and tries to cover up the lack of good jokes or serious story with a bunch of bare breasts and semi-nudity.
If you have seen the modern remake you might have found it rather silly. Then you might find it hard to believe that this much, and I mean much, sillier than that. It is really stupid actually. Almost all characters, apart from Uncle Jesse, that is played by Willie Nelson, and Daisy, have regressed back to being immature teenagers. Everything for being as silly as possible and desperate for (accidently) falling over a cheap joke. The result is of course that it is tiresome and boring instead.
Can't really imagine why Willie Nelson agreed to do this, I thought he had more class than this. The only other actress to leave this movie with her respect mostly intact is (beautiful) April Scott. The character Daisy seem to have some intelligence and depth, even if she too suffers from the juvenile-disease.
I liked the Dukes of Hazzard (2005). Sure, it was a little immature and silly, but in all managed to balance it pretty good. In this sequel they have lost it all and tipped over completely.
Directed By: Robert Berlinger
Starring: Jonathan Bennett, Randy Wayne, April Scott, Christopher McDonald, Willie Nelson, Harland Williams, & Joel Moore
MPAA Rating: "Unrated" (for sexual humor and dialogue)
***PLEASE NOTE: This Is A Review Of The "Unrated" Version Of The Movie***
After a long-running television series (that survived for six years and still remains a fan favorite) and a big-screen movie all based on the same material and the same characters, I believe we have seen everything that the Duke boys have to offer. We have seen countless chase scenes, the "General Lee" getting destroyed and resurrected over and over, and Daisy Duke in all of her glory. What else is there to show? Well, as "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning" shows, not much. I have only seen bits and pieces of episodes from the original television series and, though it certainly is not the most intelligent piece of televised history, it is still a classic show that is entertaining. In 2005, its big-screen adaptation (starring Johnny Knoxville, Sean William Scott, and Jessica Simpson) was a moderate success despite critical pounding. I found it to be an average movie that, like its source material, lacked brains, but made up for it with its entertainment value. With, "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning", nothing new is presented and everything seems recycled but is it as fun as its predecessors?
Bo (Bennett) and Luke (Wayne) Duke have gotten into a spot of trouble and have been sent to live with their Uncle Jesse (Nelson) and their dowdy cousin, Daisy (Scott). Uncle Jesse is a farmer and a moonshiner who develops a huge rivalry with the most powerful man in town, the notorious Boss Hogg (McDonald), who is threatening to foreclose on Uncle Jesse's farm. I'll give you a little hint. This plot has been done before, both in the television series and the 2005 film. It is nothing new, but the real fun in "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning" comes with how it explains the back story of Hazzard county. We are given explanations for the rivalry between the Dukes and Boss Hogg, Daisy's famous shorts, Flash, and, of course, the birth of the "General Lee". I enjoyed watching how everything came together though I would have preferred to have seen it all happen in a plot that wasn't so completely recycled (and poorly assembled, I might add).
I liked the cast of the 2005 movie, even if Daisy Duke was a blonde. So, I was disappointed to see that only one person would be returning--Willie Nelson. Not surprisingly, Nelson gives the best performance in the movie. Jonathan Bennett is usually a good actor but, here, he overacts in a few scenes. I found his portrayal of Bo to be rather average, which kind of disappointed me. Randy Wayne suffers from the same problem, though not quite as badly. His performance is okay. They were both too animated, unfortunately, giving the characters a slightly cartoonish feel. April Scott made me sympathize with Daisy, bringing more to the role than just a flawless body (though, she brought that too). I liked it. Christopher McDonald was a bad guy. I bought it. Harland Williams shocked me. He just didn't do anything for me. I could see how the screenwriters envisioned his performance (probably to be much like that of M.C. Gainey in the 2005 movie) but, instead of playing it with even an ounce of evilness, he was goofy and comedic. He missed the point.
I want to make something very, very clear. "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning" is not a quality film. It is cheesy, silly, and many of the scenes are just not plausible. I mean, did you know that a car can turn up on its side and drive on two wheels just by you turning the steering wheel or that a pig can escape its pin, climb up onto the roof, and then prevent itself from falling just long enough for help to come? But, really, did anyone watch the original television series to see intellectual situations with strong messages. People watched the show to be entertained and, for that purpose (and that purpose only), "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning" works. It may be a guilty pleasure but the fun you will have here is comparable to that of the original show.
Final Thought: "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning" will entertain the people who enjoyed the original show.
Overall Rating: 5/10 (B-)
I wish I could go back in time 90mins as I would have watched something else.
This is the so called unrated version.
Well I'd hate to see what the original version was. Maybe a bit better than this crap.
Hopefully there wont be another movie in the series made.
If they do I hope they find better actors to portray the parts.
How Willie Nelson signed on for the sequel beats me,
Avoid at all costs
They only jumped the General Lee once in the whole movie. Even though it was a huge jump, it didn't seem very convincing.
Most of the characters were better suited for their role, and they even had a somewhat more goofier and silly Rosco, which is the Rosco that I liked in the series. I think Cooter was too weird though.
April Scott definitely looked way better than Jessica Simpson.
They even had some funny jokes worth laughing at in this movie.
We learn in "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning" that Luke got in trouble with the law for setting off a fireworks display to show his love for a woman who ignored him while Bo failed his driving license test seven times during which he careened around recklessly every time with the fuzz in hot pursuit. The authorities and the parents decide the best thing for their errant offspring is to pack them off for the summer to Hazzard County where Uncle Jessie plans to work their tails off doing chores around his ranch. The cousins meet Daisy (newcomer April Scott) just after she has taken a vow of abstinence. At this point, Daisy has not donned her trademark cut-off blue jeans. No sooner have the cousins settled into Hazzard County than they run afoul of Boss Hogg and nearly kill his prize hog Dainty. Inexplicably, Hogg keeps Dainty in a pen atop the Boar's Nest. Boss and Jessie are on the outs. Boss demands a greater percentage of Jessie's slim moonshine earnings and eventually decides that he wants Jessie's ranch, too. Naturally, Jessie is not about to part with the ranch that has been in the family for 150 years. This complication prompts youthful Daisy to apply for a job at the Boar's Nest as a waitress, but she still looks like a plain Jane. After she sheds her spectacles, ties her shirt above her belly and packs her booty into a pair of cut-offs, the owner changes his mind. Meanwhile, cousins Bo and Luke decide to help Jessie with his moonshine activities, but this requires that they obtain transportation. While skinny-dipping at a lake, they discover a 1969 Dodge Charger sunk on the bottom and raise it. Cooter helps them refurbish it and paint it orange. Cooter, we learn, has a thing about horns. Remember, he installed the Dixie horn on the General Lee in the 2005 movie. Jessie tells them every car that he ever owned he named after a southern general, so Bo names it the General Lee. When Daisy asks Bo what his favorite number is, he picks the number 01 and our heroine paints it on both the doors. Bo welds his door shut because he says it is cool. We learn why Bo slides off the hood. He claims it is easier than walking around the car to get into it. As the same time, Sheriff Roscoe keeps a weather eye on our heroes and totes around a puppy version of Flash.
The boys run rings around the local law enforcement, but they don't perform any acrobatics in the newly christened General Lee until the finale. Some of the one-liners are clever, but the attitude has changed considerably with "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning" in this Unrated Edition. Unlike the TV series, this prequel features more risqué humor, along the lines of the "Porky's" movie. When the cousins meet Cooter in high school, they take his dune buggy for a ride and smash through the girl's locker room so that dozens of screaming bare breasted babes pursue them. There is also an amusing scene when Boss Hogg's wife Lulu (Sherilyn Fenn of "The Wraith") gets turned on by young Luke and shows him how to stuff a baked turkey. The basting scene is predictable but nevertheless cute. Of course, Bo doesn't share Lulu's enthusiasm. One major anachronism pops up when a character asks the Dukes about cell phone coverage. If this is genuinely a prequel, there were no cell phones back in the 1980s. Director Robert Berlinger keeps the action moving at a steady enough clip, but you can tell that this is just a warm up of a movie with no greater ambitions that to account for all things Duke. Seasoned fans of "The Dukes of Hazzard" would be justified in looking down their collective noses at this low-budget feature and ignore it completely were it not for Willie and the origins of the series.
The accents were for the most part terrible. The unrated version featured numerous topless blonds that made the transformation of Daisy Duke into a vixen, anti-climatic. Harland Williams as Roscoe was over the top. The film was very corny and not well done.
Parental Guide: No f-bombs, some implied sex. Ample nudity (Casey Durkin, Carrie Minter plus many others)