Wild Hogs

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Wild Hogs
Wild-hogs-poster-750.jpg
promotional movie poster
Directed by Walt Becker
Produced by Kristin Burr
Todd Lieberman
Brian Robbins
Amy Sayres
Sharla Sumpter
Michael Tollin
Written by Brad Copeland
Starring Tim Allen
John Travolta
Martin Lawrence
William H. Macy
Ray Liotta
Marisa Tomei
Music by Teddy Castellucci
Cinematography Robbie Greenberg
Editing by Christopher Greenbury
Studio Tollin/Robbins Productions
Distributed by Touchstone Pictures
Release dates
  • March 2, 2007 (2007-03-02)
Running time 100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million
Box office $253,625,427[1]

Wild Hogs is a 2007 comedy outlaw biker road movie directed by Walt Becker and starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy. It was released nationwide in the United States and Canada on March 2, 2007.

Plot[edit]

Doug Madsen (Tim Allen), Woody Stevens (John Travolta), Bobby Davis (Martin Lawrence), and Dudley Frank (William H. Macy) are four middle-aged suburban men living in a Cincinnati area suburb who find themselves frustrated with the pace of daily life and lack of adventure. Doug is a dentist who has trouble relating to his son Billy (Dominic Janes), Dudley is a single computer programmer who is afraid to talk to women. Bobby is a henpecked plumber whose wife has made him return to work after having taken a year off to unsuccessfully write a book, and Woody is a rich lawyer married to a supermodel.

When Woody finds out his wife is divorcing him and leaving him bankrupt, he suggests a motorcycle road trip to California to the others. Dudley eagerly signs on, while Bobby lies to his wife about having to go to a plumber's convention out of town. Meanwhile, Doug is reluctant to leave work, but when his wife agrees that he should stay home because of his age, he becomes upset and suffers what his doctor calls a "catecholamine-induced supra-ventricular tachyarrhythmia" (stress-induced panic attack). This prompts Doug's wife to convince him to go on the trip.

Calling themselves the "Wild Hogs," the foursome encounter several misadventures during the first couple days of their ride, including Dudley accidentally burning their tent, two encounters with a gay highway patrolman, and an awkward moment at a lake when the foursome are skinny dipping and inadvertently frighten off a family who had planned to picnic and swim at the lake. The men then stop at a roadside bar, where they meet the Del Fuego gang, headed by the tough biker Jack (Ray Liotta). Jack calls the Wild Hogs "posers" and has his gang take Dudley's bike, forcing the men to leave with Dudley in a sidecar attached to Woody's bike.

Upset and humiliated by what just happened, Woody tries to convince the others to go back and get Dudley's bike. The others refuse, so Woody sneaks back alone, cuts the fuel lines of the other bikes, and retrieves Dudley's bike. Woody tells the others that he threatened to sue the Del Fuegos if they didn't give him Dudley's bike. When the Del Fuegos hear the Wild Hogs riding back past the bar, they try to pursue them, only for the bikes to stall. Jack accidentally drops his lit cigarette onto a line of fluid from where Woody cut the gas lines of the bikes, causing a chain reaction that blows up the bar. Woody sees the bar explosion in his rear-view mirror, panics and convinces the others to keep riding instead of filling up at a nearby gas station, not realizing the next station isn't for another 200 miles.

The Wild Hogs run out of gas and end up in Madrid, New Mexico, where they stumble into a diner and help themselves to water and beer without first paying for the beer. As a result, the townspeople first mistake them for the Del Fuego gang. When the Wild Hogs explain their actions, they learn that the Del Fuegos have been terrorizing the town regularly, while the local police force, which has very little training and no guns, can't do anything to protect the town. Although Woody is still antsy about the Del Fuegos, the others convince him to stay in the town overnight. During their stay in the town, Dudley falls in love with Maggie (Marisa Tomei), the diner's owner, while two Del Fuegos spot the foursome and report their location to Jack. Jack tells his scouts not to hurt the Wild Hogs until he gets there. The Wild Hogs confront the scouts and, believing Woody's story, get the scouts to leave and are hailed as heroes.

The next day, a still-uneasy Woody finally convinces the others to leave, but then the entire Del Fuego gang shows up. Jack threatens to wreak havoc on the town unless the Wild Hogs pay for the damage to the bar. Woody admits what he really did to get Dudley's bike back as well as the real reason for the trip. Jack takes over Maggie's diner, but when he threatens to burn it, Dudley confronts them and is captured. The others join Dudley but are repeatedly beaten down. The townspeople band together to confront the Del Fuegos, but just then Damien Blade (Peter Fonda), Jack's father and the founder of the Del Fuegos, arrives and orders the gang to back off. Blade berates Jack for letting four "posers" hold off an entire biker gang, questioning aloud just which side was the "posers," and saying that the bar was merely an insurance scam and therefore he was glad that the Wild Hogs destroyed it. Blade tells the Del Fuegos to leave town, and ride the open road until they remember what riding is really about, mentioning as he leaves that Jack "takes after his mother."

Doug and Bobby's wives arrive, and Doug reconciles with his son. Bobby's wife orders him to return with her, but he refuses, finally standing up to her and convincing her to let him finish the ride. The Wild Hogs leave, reaching California, and in a scene similar to one at the beginning of the movie, Dudley becomes distracted and nearly loses control of his bike. This time, however, he keeps control, while the others, in an ironic twist, crash into a tandem surfboard. While Dudley laughs and rides on.

In the end credits, it is revealed that the Wild Hogs had called Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to give the Del Fuegos a new bar to call home. While most of the bike gang is ecstatic and grateful for their new home, Jack is shown only crying and not saying anything, most likely out of joy. The scene ends with the Wild Hogs clicking their beer glasses together in glee.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Travolta and Macy had previously worked together in the 1998 drama, A Civil Action. Liotta and Durand had previously appeared together in the 2006 action thriller Smokin' Aces. Lawrence and McGinley appeared in the 1997 comedy Nothing to Lose. Lawrence and Arnold had previously worked together on the television series Martin; many fans of the series found their pairing in this film humorous, as well as ironic, as in the series, their characters hated each other, while in the film they were husband and wife.[citation needed]

Though the film takes place in various places throughout the U.S., the entire movie was actually filmed in New Mexico (except the beach on the West Coast at the end).[citation needed] The opening scenes that supposedly take place in Cincinnati were actually filmed in and around Albuquerque; the final scenes said to depict Madrid were actually shot there.[citation needed]

Motorcycles[edit]

Harley-Davidson provided the motorcycles for the making of this film.[citation needed]

Many of the motorcycles utilized by the Del Fuego gang were customized choppers. The motorcycle used by Jack featured the logo for Orange County Choppers, run by Paul Teutul, Sr. with design work by Paul Teutul, Jr.. Both Teutuls have cameo appearances at the beginning of the film.[citation needed]

Tim Allen, a noted automotive designer and hobbyist, gave input to the design of his motorcycle. Of the bikes used in the film by the four main characters, his is the most customized model.[citation needed]

Background notes[edit]

The Motorcycle Riders Association's classes on motorcycle safety often point to the opening sequence in the film Wild Hogs for examples of things not to do when riding.[citation needed]

Jill Hennessy, who portrays Doug's wife, is a motorcycle enthusiast herself.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Wild Hogs opened on March 2, 2007 to mostly negative reviews. The film holds an average rating of 3.8/10 on website Rotten Tomatoes, with 14% of 141 reviews being positive.

Ty Burr of The Boston Globe compared the film's merits to its titular motorcycles, believing it to be "a bumptious weekend ride... the engine could use tuning and the plugs are shot, but it gets you most of the way there." Although writing a negative review, Burr offered praise for the film's final act, believing it "takes a satisfying turn" and that, with the exception of Allen, each of the film's primary cast members "earned his designated chuckle." He also favorably compared the film to RV, another comedy film focusing on a road trip.[2]

Box office[edit]

Despite negative reviews, the film grossed $39.6 million on its opening weekend, ranking #1 in box office sales and nearly tripling the debut of fellow opener Zodiac.[3] The film performed well throughout its entire run, falling just 30.5% in its second weekend[4] and ultimately grossing $168.2 million domestically and $252.8 million worldwide,[1] becoming Travolta's first film since The General's Daughter in 1999 to gross over $100 million domestically.[citation needed]

Lawsuit[edit]

In March 2007, the Hells Angels filed suit against Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group alleging that the film used both the name and distinctive logo of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation without permission.[5] That suit resulted in voluntary dismissal.[6]

DVD release[edit]

Wild Hogs was released on standard DVD and Blu-ray Disc on August 14, 2007.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations[edit]

People's Choice Awards

References[edit]

External links[edit]