Friday, May 2, 2008

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

A comedy directed by Jack Kasdan (The Zero Effect) and written by Kasdan and Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) has a lot to live up to. Maybe that's an unfair expectation to put on a well intentioned film, but it is what it is. Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) is more or less a knock off of Johnny Cash with Darlene (Jenna Fischer) his June Carter. Most of the film is a direct spoof of the Cash biopic Walk the Line with a few added changes later in the story. Such as when Cox tries to revive his career as a protest singer ala Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea. The film sticks with straight up spoof for most with very few gags requiring a set up. The songs were all composed by the writers (and some friends) with only one of them really working in "Let's Duet".

If it sounds like I'm not that excited about the film then you get my point. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments scattered throughout the film... it is just that there is so much dead space between them. The ending doesn't quite work that well either. Kasdan can do satire well as in his remarkable skewing of the television industry The TV Set. Unfortunately, Walk Hard falls squarely in the assine genre of Talladega Nights and Semi-Pro. Props do have to go to star John C. Reilly who keeps the whole thing from sinking. Having an actor who can do all his own singing ensures you are taken out of the story by bad lip-syncing (Streets of Fire hello?). I can only give this a modest recommendation.


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