There's something almost indescribably depressing about Wild Hogs. It's not that it's actually badly made, it's just soulless, boring, formulaic and utterly convinced that its audience won't care. Aimed, one imagines, at middle-aged men, Hogs is the story of four ageing bikers - John Travolta, William H Macy, Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence - whose various home crises prompt them to dig out their old leather jackets and take one last trip into the wilderness.
Out on the road, our heroes are stalked by a gay traffic cop and fall foul of a proper biker gang, led by Ray Liotta (on his usual psychotic autopilot). Eventually they wind up in a fearful little town, where they must liberate the inhabitants from Liotta's reign of terror, romance the locals and get in touch with their inner beards. Lessons are learned: Travolta discovers that there's more to life than money, Lawrence finds the courage to stand up to his shrieking shrew of a wife, Macy builds up confidence to talk to Marisa Tomei's spunky waitress, and Allen learns... oh, something platitudinous. The importance of being yourself, perhaps.
"JOKES ARE PITCHED AT THE AUDIENCE'S INNER REDNECK"
The men are portrayed as lovably foolish puppies, absent-mindedly tolerated by their fun-sucking wives. The bikers are vicious thugs, which is probably why the Hell's Angels club successfully sued Disney for attempting to use their name. Liotta's gang is now known as the Del Fuegos instead. Oops. Jokes are pitched at the audience's inner redneck, and concern such high-diddly-larious subjects as aggressive homosexuals (backs against the wall, lads!), bouncing boobies and plastic bags full of poo. It's been a huge box office success in America, which just proves that audiences get the films they deserve.
Wild Hogs is released in UK cinemas on Friday 13th April 2007.