"Walk Hard" is a painful journey
Biopic spoof is hardly a hit for Apatow and company
The hottest comedies in Hollywood right now have been the brainchild of a select group of talented individuals under the wing of writer/director Judd Apatow. You can thank Apatow for breakout films such as "The 40-Year-Old Virgin,
" "Knocked Up
" and "Superbad.
" With his hilarious band of talented slackers - people like Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill - Apatow's combination of adult humor with heartfelt, relatable stories is seeing a huge profit.
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows though. With a long string of hits under his belt, there was bound to be a miss there somewhere. Directed by Jake Kasdan and written by Apatow comes "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,
" which stars John c. Reilly as a musician who overcomes adversity and becomes a legend.
The chemistry just wasn't there. "Walk Hard
" plays like a one-joke pony that's exhausted from the start of the show. The actors do their jobs - an all-star comedic cast filled with delightful cameos - it just seems there wasn't much to work with. All the subtle, tongue-in-cheek jokes that sprinkle Apatow's movies were missing here and instead we get blatantly unfunny scenes.
As a parody of the musical biopic genre, "Walk Hard
" succeeds on some level. Drawing from "Walk the Line
" and "Ray
," as well as films like Oliver Stone's "The Doors
," Reilly's Dewey Cox succumbs to the demons of life on the road. First there are the women - then the boozin' and then of course, the hard drugs.
As a comedy, however, "Walk Hard" fails to entertain. Rarely did I find myself laughingly loudly - instead there were occasional titters of amusement in between sighs and forcing myself to find things funny. The film works as the awkward, tries-too-hard-to-be-funny cousin of "Anchorman
" and "Talladega Nights.
" Its absurdity outweighs its entertainment value - and when the scale is tipped in absurdity's favor, it's impossible for it to get back on track.
A key word for "Walk Hard
" is disposable. While "The 40-Year-Old Virgin
" and "Knocked Up
" will go on to be comedy classics, I fear few will remember this film in 10 years. The only two parts of the film I truly enjoyed involved cameos by other, funnier actors. First there's the Elvis cameo we've all seen in the trailers, starring Jack White (of The White Stripes) as the King. Then there's an enlightening meeting with The Beatles where we meet the fab four courtesy of Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Jason Schwartzman and Justin Long.
In conclusion, I suggest saving your Christmas cash for better films like "Sweeney Todd
" or "Juno.
" At least then you can feel that you've spent your dough on something made of sturdier stuff.