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The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning
DVD disk
03.21.2007 By: Quigles
The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning order
Director:
Robert Berlinger

Actors:
Jonathan Bennett
Randy Wayne
April Scott

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
This prequel (for some reason set in current times, with jokes about cell phones and such) has the Duke boys first meeting up at Uncle Jesse's farm in Hazzard County, butting heads with Boss Hogg, and trying their darndest to save the town (or... something).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This movie taught me a profound lesson: always be grateful with what you get. In 2005, the TV-adapted movie DUKES OF HAZZARD came out, and despite a decent box office intake, a lot of people came to hate it. Personally, I thought it was a pretty horrible movie, but at least made for some dumb fun. And now in 2007, here comes the straight-to-DVD prequel, THE DUKES OF HAZZARD: THE BEGINNING. Oh, how I long for the mere awfulness of the first film in comparison to this.

Wandering around making idiotic comments and trying to score with hot chicks, the Duke boys never come across as particularly likable (or remotely bright). The leads seem better suited as Abercrombie & Fitch models than comedic actors. Daisy doesn't fare much better, with her story arc consisting of nothing more than the realization she can make guys eye-f**k her by dressing like a slut. Thing is though, she's not even remotely attractive. Her face is as fake-looking as her tits, and she's skinny to the point that I could no longer tell the difference between her and Skeletor. That's not beauty, that's just... gross.

Not even the sequences with the General Lee are any fun. They're lackluster and low-budget in exactly the way you'd expect from a straight-to-DVD production. The filmmakers seemed to want to make up for this by having a chase scene where, for no reason whatsoever, the boys drive a go-kart through a girl's locker room (with nudity abound). And of course, the girls don't just try to hide and cover themselves up - that'd be much too logical. Instead, they chase after those crazy Duke boys as they drive on through the school. Yeeha! Ain't them some hilarious hijinx?! Nothing quite like watching a mob of half-naked women as they moronically run through a hallway chasing after two guys in a go-kart. Such brilliance knows no bounds.

THE BEGINNING actually feels a lot more like another straight-to-DVD AMERICAN PIE sequel than a DUKES prequel, except more cartoonish and filled with an abundance of redneck humor. I've never seen the original TV show, so for all I know this movie captures its essence perfectly (although I really hope not). At any rate, it's definitely worse than the first film, and if that's doesn't scare you off I don't know what will. It's stupid, obnoxious, plot-less, laugh-less, and features more godawful acting by Willie Nelson. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, then venture away. Personally, I hope these good ol' boys crash the General Lee going 100+ MPH and never see the light of day again.
THE EXTRAS
THE BEGINNING comes with a choice between the PG-13 version and UNRATED version (which is what I reviewed). Basically, I'm assuming the only difference is that they've removed all the nudity from the PG-13 version. Either that, or they filmed all the scenes with nudity in two different ways (one clothed, one not).

A bunch of short featurettes is all the DVD has to offer in the way of extras.

Hazzardous County Featurettes Gallery (31:45): There are seven short making-of segments available for viewing here: The New Dukes, Daisy's Dukes, Birth of the General Lee, A Moment with Uncle Jesse, Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, Dainty Hogg, and Dukes in Drag.

Also included are The Music of Hazzard (which is nothing more than a music video for Duke Boys Swingin', with Cowboy Troy and John Anderson), and the film's Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Just when I was starting to think straight-to-DVD sequels had turned a new leaf (with surprisingly decent efforts in the way of OPEN WATER 2, WALKING TALL: THE PAYBACK, and CINDERELLA III), here comes THE DUKES OF HAZZARD: THE BEGINNING to prove me wrong... as hard as it possibly can. It's not funny. It's not entertaining. It's not even good eye-candy (despite the heaps of nudity). Basically, it's just proof that no matter how bad you think things are (read: 2005's DUKES OF HAZZARD), you can always do a whole lot worse.
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