Saturday, December 22, 2007

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007, Jake Kasdan)

Since Freaks and Geeks, I've been pretty predisposed to cutting the Apatow comedy factory a lot of slack. But the truth is that Walk Hard finds them sort of coasting. Don't get me wrong, Walk Hard is pretty funny, but there are also some pretty long dry patches in between the laughs. What's more, the running gags are extremely repetitive. Of course, that's part of the joke, the predictability of the story arcs in straight musical biopics being held up to scorn, but around the fourth time we saw Dewey hit rock bottom and tear apart a bathroom, it stopped being funny. In addition, the cameos are starting to get ridiculous. It's one thing to throw the Beatles into the storyline, but when the Beatles are played by Paul Rudd, Jack Black, Justin Long, and Jason Schwartzman affecting bad Liverpudlian accents, it's more distracting than humorous. To say nothing of Jack White as Elvis, Frankie Muniz as Buddy Holly, and many more. That said, I laughed a good amount in Walk Hard, and I was doubled over with laughter more than once. The original spoof songs are a hoot ("Let Me Hold You (Little Man)" may be the funniest song I've heard since "My Stepdad's Not Mean, He's Just Adjusting"), and the way the film lampoons the various musical periods Cox travels through during his career is sometimes priceless, especially when he shuts himself in the studio for months on end recording a SMiLE-esque opus. And John C. Reilly is just about perfect as Cox, throwing himself into even the most outrageous comic scenes and showing off the musical chops he first exhibited in Chicago. Walk Hard is no Superbad in the laughs department, that's for sure. But as far as spoofs of the musical biopic go, the genre has it coming, and I think we can all be thankful that it was Kasdan and Apatow- rather than the dudes who made Date Movie- who made this. And if you see this, be sure to stay until the end of the credits. It's definitely worth it. Rating: 5 out of 10.

1 comment:

James said...

I'm with you on this one. I'd hoped that it would be a lot funnier than it is, but I laughed just enough not to be bothered by it. My least favorite aspect was how the characters would often verbally explain what they were making fun of; if a viewer hasn't already seen a couple of biopics, they won't get a lot of it, anyway, so why bother?