Making the Grades
Can anything good come out of Hazzard County? Apparently not.
Twenty years after the television series rolled to an end, the Duke cousins are again revving up their orange Dodge Charger and hitting the back roads of Georgia. High-speed chases, loose women and homemade liquor are still plentiful. But whatever charm the TV show had seems to have evaporated like steam off a hot still.
It's no surprise Bo (Seann William Scott) and Luke (Johnny Knoxville) are in trouble with the law. Their driving antics alone are enough to leave the average citizen afraid of wandering onto the highway. Tearing through the countryside, the rumrunners have Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (M.C. Gainey) and his band of deputies in constant pursuit.
Taking orders from Hazzard County's corrupt commissioner Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds), the officers are trying to shut down the Dukes moonshine operation run by the boys' Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson).
Hidden behind a secret panel inside the family homestead, Uncle Jesse brews up some of the town's strongest booze with the help of Pauline (Lynda Carter). Then he leaves it to the boys to distribute the illegal commodity while he hangs out in the "smoke" shed inhaling fumes of another prohibited product. Without any guidance from their older relative, the boys end up in plenty of trouble. Luckily for them, their barely-clad cousin Daisy (Jessica Simpson) has a knack for displaying her ample assets in order to get Bo and Luke out of custody.
Unfortunately, Daisy's short shorts and bikini tops fuel plenty of lewd remarks from the male racecar drivers and police. Add the boys' casual attitude toward sex, bestiality comments and crude jokes, and the script is left full of sexual innuendo and profanities.
However, parents' biggest concern with these Dukes may be the ability for children to imitate their dangerous actions. The good ol' boys in Hazzard County love their guns, cars and liquor--a deadly combination in the real world. Caught in a compromising situation with the neighbor's daughter, Luke tries to outrun her father in the General Lee while dodging bullets from his high-powered rifle. Later Uncle Jessie and Luke toss quarts of flaming hooch at police officers while driving a stolen vehicle at high speeds.
Launching a car off of every conceivable ramp in the region, the stunt drivers in the movie pull off some incredible feats. But the outtakes at the end of the film provide a sobering reminder of what can really happen to young drivers who might be inclined to recreate these stunts themselves.
Those content concerns, along with the casts' lackluster performances, may make these Dukes a "hazzardous" waste of time and money.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Dukes of Hazzard.
When, if ever, is breaking the law justified? What means do Bo and Luke use to stop Boss Hogg? What other methods could be used?
How are women portrayed in this movie? What stereotypes are perpetuated? Does Daisy ever use any thing other than her body to deal with a situation?
The Dukes of Hazzard has situations that could be recreated by young adults and teens. What are some of the dangers that are not portrayed in the film? What could be the result of erratic driving, excessive speeds and jumping off ramps? How does the music and fun-loving attitude of the characters color the reality of these stunts?