Set in present day, the story follows the adventures of "good old boy" cousins, Bo and Luke Duke, who with the help of their eye-catching cousin Daisy and moonshine running Uncle Jesse, try and save the family farm from being destroyed by Hazzard County's corrupt commissioner Boss Hogg.

(2005) Film Review

This page was created on June 25, 2005
This page was last updated on September 6, 2005

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Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar

Written by
Jay Chandrasekhar
Jonathan Davis written by
Kevin Heffernan
Steve Lemme
John O'Brien
Paul Soter
Erik Stolhanske

Cast (in credits order)
Seann William Scott .... Bo Duke
Johnny Knoxville .... Luke Duke
Jessica Simpson .... Daisy Duke
Burt Reynolds .... Boss Hogg
Joe Don Baker
Lynda Carter .... Pauline
Willie Nelson .... Uncle Jesse
Alice Greczyn .... Lori
Brian Edwards
Charlie Finn
M.C. Gainey .... Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane
Nikki Griffin .... Katie Johnson
Kevin Heffernan
Alicen Holden .... Allison
Henry Jäderlund .... Wayne
Robin Knightwing .... Lil Ja
David Koechner .... Cooter Davenport
Jacqui Maxwell .... Annette
Jamin Olivencia .... Spike
Jack Polick .... Deputy Cletus
James Roday .... Billy Prickett
Michael Roof .... Dil Driscoll
Rip Taylor .... Himself
Michael Weston .... Enos

Produced by
Bruce Berman .... executive producer
Bill Gerber .... producer
Dana Goldberg .... executive producer
Eric McLeod .... executive producer
Greg Silverman .... executive producer

Original Music by Nathan Barr
Cinematography by Larry Sher and Lawrence Sher
Film Editing by Lee Haxall and Myron I. Kerstein

For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

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The Dukes of Hazzard
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The Dukes of Hazzard : The Unofficial Companion
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Click to enlargeSet in present day, the story follows the adventures of "good old boy" cousins, Bo (Seann William Scott) and Luke (Johnny Knoxville) Duke, who with the help of their eye-catching cousin Daisy (Jessica Simpson) and moonshine running Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson), try and save the family farm from being destroyed by Hazzard County's corrupt commissioner Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds). Their efforts constantly find the "Duke Boys" eluding authorities in "The General Lee," their famed 1969 orange Dodge Charger that keeps them one step ahead of the dimwitted antics of the small southern town's Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (M.C. Gainey).

Click to go to Jacob Sahms's blogReview by

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Faced with yet another remake/re-tooling effort this summer, I figured that The Dukes of Hazzard would be the worst of the bunch. And maybe it requires that sort of expectation level to truly appreciate the movie. With Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, and Jessica Simpson as your core actors, you shouldn’t expect much acting. But really, the old Dukes show was about the General Lee, racing the car, jumping the car, and, oh yeah, beating Boss Hogg every time.

01.jpg (137 K)The PG-13 version of my beloved Saturday morning show provides equal plotlines (if not more) to the original, and as I’ve mentioned, the acting is about the same. Fans of the original will notice details that place the movie prior to the TV show, as things change and the development of the General Lee’s markings. The background also enlightens the audience to the ongoing strife between the Dukes and Boss Hogg. Evil in its Burt Reynolds slimy form has been messing with Hazzard for quite some time, and the Dukes have always stood against them.

06.jpg (290 K)Daisy Duke (Simpson) certainly uses her body as a ‘weapon,’ but she steers clear of any Chicken of the Sea discrepancies, and comes across as the smartest Duke. While she gets less screen time than Bo and Luke (Scott and Knoxville) and lacks the necessary southern twang, Daisy provides a strong female character that matches the resourceful depiction provided in the 1980s show. Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson) serves as a peripheral member of the family and lays down portions of the soundtrack, but lacks the guiding role he carried in the show. David Koechner steals screen time as Cooter, providing the foundation for the expected characteristics of the General Lee, and Lynda Carter flashes her Wonder Woman smile as new character Pauline.

Faced with the typical nefarious Hogg plot, the Duke boys go into action to unearth what is actually going on, this time traveling to Atlanta to research some samples. Here, the various reactions to the Confederate flag are played out by those driving by the Duke boys in a traffic jam and bystanders as well. The situations are played for humor but an interesting depiction of the Duke boys leaves them confused at the anger their car causes in others. Historically, what are we unaware of that culturally, religiously, or socially offends others? Certainly, a Confederate flag means different things to different people—socially, geographically, and culturally—to some it is offensive and to others it is not. Either way, one could learn from the movie to be cautious about what one displays—know what you mean and what ‘vibe’ you are giving to others intentionally or not.

The resolution provided in the film revolves around the teamwork needed by the Dukes and their friends to beat Boss Hogg. Family certainly remains central to what they are all about, and their values hinge on loyalty and justice. Regardless of their current situations, the Dukes always strive to keep Hazzard clean of corruption—as long as you accept that making moonshine is of no consequence!

05.jpg (198 K)When it really comes down to it, the film is about family, but mostly about the car. I turned to my wife halfway through and wondered aloud, “So, how many cars do you think it took?” After watching the outtakes at the end…I’d say it took quite a few.

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Okay, here goes, I actually went to see this movie today with my family, and while it is very deserving of the pg-13 rating, I loved it. I can’t personally think of the last time I had so much fun at a movie as I did today. Prior to walking into the movie, none of my family was that excited to see it. It was just that it started at the right time and we had just gone through a busy week so we wanted to see whatever movie started as we went to the theater. I even asked my wife, “Do you think this movie or the television show will be better?” She responded that the television show, but I told her that I thought that the movie would be better. That didn’t mean that I thought it would be a great classical film, I just happened to like the cast and the advance trailers seemed to be fun.

I have to admit I had seen the “Boots” video with Jessica Simpson and that video had made me somewhat leery of seeing the movie. Then again there was Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg who I happen to like and has made recent resurgence in movies like this and this summers earlier release of The Longest Yard. There was also Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse and Johnny Knoxville as Luke Duke. I actually am one that didn’t like Jackass when Knoxville was in it but did like him in his role in Walking Tall alongside The Rock “Dwayne Johnson” last summer.

What I wasn’t suspecting was the fun performances of some of the other actors in the flick. Among those included Sean William Scott who did a fun rendition of Bo Duke. He steals virtually every scene he is in and will obtain more roles from his portrayal in this movie. There is also sidekick and community reject, Sheev, played brilliantly by Kevin Heffernan. This underwear, bomb making, local fish bait selling personality is so much fun that you can’t help but like the guy, dirty underwear, armadillo hat wearing and all.

The local police department of Hazard is as goofy as ever with Michael Weston doing a great job portraying Deputy Enos Strate, Jack Polick as Deputy Cletus, and of course M.C. Gainey as Rosco P. Coltrane. While those in the local police department, especially Gainey, play their parts straighter than the actors in the original television series, they are still the bumbling goof balls that we have come to love and respect over the years.

One of the things about this movie that I suspected from seeing that video with Jessica Simpson was a more adult rendition of the story. I was accurate in that. This movie could have just as easily been rated ‘R’ and there will be a great many parents who take their kids that will have objections to the drugs, language, and sexual innuendo. It is unfortunate and debatable if everything in the movie was needed, but in some ways the perception of what takes place on screen is as much a reflection of society as it is the characters that is being portrayed.

Jessica Simpson plays sexy Daisy Duke for example; The impression is that she is merely a sex symbol that is selling sex. The truth is that the character is an intelligent individual who uses her looks to obtain things that she and/or others need. While this is not necessarily something that should be encouraged, it is the reality of what takes place within the lifestyles of many in today. This is certainly endorsed and supported by those buying time on television, and in virtually any market trying to sell a product. I learned this even within the “Christian Music Market” back when I was involved in that field. I was personally amazed at how much album covers for example are air brushed and musicians are put in sexy scenes and poses. Yes, even within the Christian market. Truth is, it don’t take anything more than a trip to the local “Christian Book Store” or Wal-Mart to check out the “Christian Music Section,” to see this concept hasn’t changed much in the last few years.

There are positive attributes of the film that I also enjoyed and was caused to think about? Among the strongest positive thing was the loyalty and love of family. While Uncle Jessie still sells moonshine, Bo and Luke delivers it running from the police all along the way, the truth is that the loyalty to each other is above noticeable and admired. It is an interesting concept and one that I believe still draws people to enjoy movies like this. The longing for family, devotion, and love is still something that most people long for and desire. In that regard, the Dukes have it “mostly” all together. They are there to help each other out in times of trouble, and their love, one for another is to never be doubted. It is something that not only the audience appreciates; it is illustrated by the friends of the Dukes in the movie. Their friends are loyal, dependable and admiring of the love the Dukes have for each other. Maybe, just maybe, this is something we can learn from and begin to apply in our own day-to-day lives.

I could go on and on about this movie. The truth is that while I was able to contemplate on things like family, and the love of community, (actually the underlying theme of the movie), I was also able to have fun along the ride. The car chase scenes are wonderful and in some ways, they portray one of the real stars of the film, The General Lee. Even the filmmakers have a little fun with the concept of a car with a Confederate Flag named The General Lee being a popular symbol in the South. We are in on the joke but also reminded along the way of the importance of things like family and community.

Truth is, this is one of those movies that not everyone will enjoy, it is one that I will expect negative email about, but, it is also one that I enjoyed and believe positive messages are given. As it is in life, those positive messages are mixed in with the bad messages, and it is up to us to decipher the good from the bad. However, they are there if one does a little searching.

On a end note, I must comment on the sound track to this movie. For an old Southern Boy, it was great! I loved it and the narration by the one and only Junior Brown pays tribute to the original narrator, Waylon Jennings. I will buy the soundtrack, and will buy the DVD once it is released, that says something.

Is this a perfect move? Never said it was, but it is a fun, fun, movie, and a great ride. On a scale of 1-10 for the number of police cars destroyed in one car chase, I give a very enjoyable and fun 8.

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