Toward the end of Wild Hogs, I couldn't help but recall a scene from Three Amigos!; three unemployed, clumsy actors attempt to become the heroes they've played on screen so many times before in order to rescue an innocent woman from an evil clan of Mexican bandits. The two films have a lot in common: they both feature a group of simple men who pretend to be bad-ass rebels, but wind up disturbing the real-life warriors they so want to emulate. They both feature small towns (or villages) overrun by a gang of misfits out to take what they want, when they want it. Lastly, they both feature a crop of familiar Hollywood talent that, with the right script, are capable of providing an entertaining and satisfying moviegoing experience. Unfortunately, Wild Hogs got wrong everything Three Amigos! got right, and the result is a campy, poorly-written flick that relies too heavily on its physical comedy, without taking advantage of its diverse, multi-talented cast.
For the first half hour, pic repeatedly hits us over the head with the fact that our four main characters have grown into middle-aged boring men who wouldn't know fun and adventure if it came squealing into their driveways. Doug (Tim Allen) is a dentist who fails to earn respect from his wife and son because he's not a real doctor ... he's only a dentist. Woody (John Travolta) used to be a successful businessman, but is now flat broke after his supermodel girlfriend decided to toss him to the curb. Bobby (Martin Lawrence) is a plumber who takes orders from his wife as if he were the family pet, instead of the family man. And Dudley (William H. Macy) is our token geek; single, clumsy, stubborn and the butt of most of the sitcom-esque jokes -- in fact, I was half expecting a laugh track to pop up each and every time Dudley fell off his motorcycle (which, mind you, happens so often we can spot the joke coming from a mile away.)