'Wild Hogs'

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Wild Hogs
Directed by Walt Becker
Touchstone Pictures, opens March 2

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This shallow comedy imagines itself as an amalgam of St. Elmo's Fire, The Wild Bunch, and Deliverance—or so says smarmy Woody (John Travolta), who convinces his pals (played by Tim Allen, William H. Macy, and Martin Lawrence) to ditch their day jobs for a week on the road, traveling from Ohio to California on Harleys and in strip-mall-purchased leather pants. Wild Hogs, directed by the guy who made Van Wilder, also fancies itself a sorta-sequel to Easy Rider; hence the last-scene cameo from one of that movie's stars, who shows up to apologize for the bad behavior of a biker gang that's lost sight of what it means to "be free." In that respect, Wild Hogs would have you believe it's also a successor to Albert Brooks's Lost in America, in which an ad man ditches his comfortable existence to drop out and discover the countryside. But Brooks's film was shot through with honest desperation—at least he knew he was being an ass.

 
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