Critical Consensus: "Wild Hogs" Is Cinematic Roadkill; Good Signs for "Zodiac"; "Black Snake Moan" Sings

by | March 1, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got middle-aged bikers ("Wild Hogs," starring John Travolta) astrologically-minded killers ("Zodiac," starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr.), and some southern-fried pulp ("Black Snake Moan," starring Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci). What do the critics have to say?

Lately, Hollywood has presented more motorcycles in the movies than Laconia Bike Week. First we had "Ghost Rider," and now comes the midlife-crisis-on-wheels pic "Wild Hogs." John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy star as a group of older guys who want to take a break from their humdrum lives, get their motors running, and head out on the highway. But their dream becomes a nightmare when they run into a biker gang and find themselves in over their heads. Critics say "Wild Hogs" squanders an A-list cast (which also includes Marisa Tomei and Ray Liotta) on an uninspired, clichéd script that unsuccessfully mixes slapstick with pathos. At 19 percent on the Tomatometer, this ain’t "Hog" heaven.

"I’m not telling you where I got my Commodore tattoo."

David Fincher brought the police procedural/serial killer movie into the modern era with "Seven." In his latest, "Zodiac," Fincher returns to the dark world of methodical killers, and critics say the result is less visceral, but still dark and absorbing. "Zodiac" follows the search for a serial killer who terrorized the Bay Area in the 1960s and 1970s (and inspired "Dirty Harry" in the process). Jake Gyllenhaal plays Robert Graysmith, a political cartoonist who seeks to decode the Zodiac Killer’s cryptic missives to the police and local newspapers. Critics say some may be disappointed by "Zodiac"’s length and open-endedness (the killer was never found), but the film’s moody ambience and palpable dread are intoxicating and will reward patient viewers. At 84 percent on the Tomatometer, "Zodiac" is not only Certified Fresh, it’s also tied with "Seven" as Fincher’s best reviewed film to date.

Apprehensive about the Zodiac killer, or waiting for the bathroom to free up?

With "Hustle & Flow," director Craig Brewer delved into the mythology of rap. Now, with "Black Snake Moan," he wades knee-deep into the blues — and critics say he’s in somewhat muddier waters. "Moan" stars Samuel L. Jackson as a farmer and sometime bluesman who discovers a woman named Rae (Christina Ricci) beaten by the side of the road; he takes Rae into his home and chains her to his radiator, hoping to cure her of her insatiable promiscuity. The premise is admittedly lurid, and some pundits say the film is too awash in provocation to work as a drama. But others say Brewer’s film has a sure sense of place, excellent music, committed performances and a sweetness and humor that make this a pulp delight. "Black Snake Moan" currently stands at 60 percent on the Tomatometer. (Check out RT’s interview with Brewer here.)

It’s hard out here for a nymph.

Also opening this week in limited release: "Wild Tigers I Have Known," a touching coming-out tale, is at 82 percent; the doc "Into Great Silence," a deliberate examination of an order of Monks in the French Alps, is at 79 percent; and "Full of It," a comedy about a compulsive liar-turned-soothsayer starring Ryan Pinkston, is at 20 percent.

"We’re not your real parents and we hate you. Punk’d!"

And finally, we’d like to say hello, hello to a user called Count_Vertigo, who came the closest to guessing "The Abandoned"’s Tomatometer of 26 percent.

Recent David Fincher Movies:
77% — Panic Room (2002)
81% — Fight Club (1999)
76% — The Game (1997)
84% — Seven (1995)
33% — Alien 3 (1992)

Recent Samuel L. Jackson Movies:
22% — Home of the Brave (2006)
68% — Snakes on a Plane (2006)
24% — Freedomland (2005)
13% — The Man (2005)
81% — Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Tag Cloud

FOX twilight monster movies gangster Comics on TV christmas movies rotten movies we love Emmys wonder woman Family TCA indie Turner Classic Movies halloween Tubi Musicals Tarantino E! GIFs Black Mirror scene in color superhero robots politics critic resources adaptation asian-american sports Writers Guild of America indiana jones transformers Superheroe south america Rom-Com universal monsters 1990s History Martial Arts satire scorecard TLC classics 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards spanish basketball Brie Larson Warner Bros. harry potter revenge video Interview suspense all-time superman king kong APB nature TV movies USA Network posters Holidays comic FXX Biopics ABC Family ID Exclusive Video The Purge rt labs CW Seed prank hist richard e. Grant Paramount Pop 20th Century Fox Shudder name the review Hallmark Christmas movies Mystery action-comedy HBO Max DC Universe razzies aapi venice casting IFC scary movies ITV spinoff Superheroes Disney Plus high school Winter TV Masterpiece Star Wars Podcast political drama VOD 2021 Lucasfilm Marvel Sundance Britbox Comic Book Schedule dogs Avengers worst james bond Calendar 93rd Oscars X-Men Cannes Fox Searchlight Stephen King Spike laika Funimation OneApp Rock Certified Fresh El Rey CMT Ellie Kemper Trailer TruTV BBC crime thriller 24 frames serial killer batman talk show sequel Pirates YA Pride Month OWN remakes Year in Review TCA Winter 2020 Pacific Islander Summer police drama international series WGN NBA slashers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Sony Pictures blaxploitation Paramount Network DirecTV Amazon Hallmark Arrowverse vampires Star Trek Legendary obituary renewed TV shows Marvel Studios lord of the rings adenture aliens San Diego Comic-Con Animation SXSW Esquire President singing competition heist movie RT History 2017 spy thriller directors news toy story New York Comic Con cinemax First Look comic book movies award winner Nominations kids HBO Go VICE A&E based on movie crime nbcuniversal documentaries Fantasy TCA Awards TV films debate Rocky feel good unscripted anime See It Skip It Amazon Studios Countdown FX french concert archives dexter telelvision golden globes travel Reality fast and furious spider-man mission: impossible TCA 2017 Lifetime Premiere Dates Character Guide LGBT USA Television Academy facebook blockbusters romantic comedy crime drama Trophy Talk festivals The Walt Disney Company First Reviews doctor who Heroines 72 Emmy Awards TIFF BBC America finale streaming king arthur biopic Video Games hispanic heritage month book Pet Sematary spain FX on Hulu child's play Opinion discovery Lionsgate Grammys Universal ViacomCBS Lifetime Christmas movies Apple Columbia Pictures WarnerMedia 21st Century Fox saw YouTube cancelled TV shows Classic Film romance Baby Yoda Fox News Tumblr docudrama Winners National Geographic popular Hear Us Out witnail Infographic Sundance TV Marvel Television criterion cats Hulu trailers young adult reboot animated Chilling Adventures of Sabrina jamie lee curtis festival zombie 71st Emmy Awards docuseries Spectrum Originals cancelled television canceled emmy awards target DC streaming service Toys The Walking Dead HBO Super Bowl halloween tv japan Watching Series dark anthology children's TV miniseries ESPN stoner a nightmare on elm street Turner green book MSNBC Food Network Ovation Travel Channel thriller marvel comics Sci-Fi Red Carpet psychological thriller Nickelodeon Film Awards Tour Holiday Shondaland BET boxing Discovery Channel Spring TV BBC One Netflix Christmas movies Trivia Thanksgiving italian sag awards streaming movies best GoT Showtime documentary strong female leads TV Land Chernobyl Women's History Month Vudu BET Awards ghosts Apple TV Plus Wes Anderson Logo godzilla Tomatazos deadpool Comic-Con@Home 2021 Comedy Central supernatural Music canceled TV shows 73rd Emmy Awards Epix DC Comics live action war Cartoon Network know your critic Mindy Kaling teaser Marathons Disney technology Mudbound Crunchyroll free movies Pop TV Disney Channel women Adult Swim Acorn TV true crime worst movies ABC rt labs critics edition japanese theme song TV One 2019 Black History Month AMC Mary Poppins Returns blockbuster YouTube Red joker reviews Endgame science fiction Image Comics Country Dark Horse Comics American Society of Cinematographers Amazon Prime 2018 The Academy Reality Competition hispanic olympics PlayStation Photos comics franchise Disney streaming service Paramount Plus Film Festival Disney+ Disney Plus Creative Arts Emmys psycho CBS book adaptation binge Teen period drama space TBS cars stand-up comedy Set visit video on demand nfl television social media rotten PaleyFest 90s Ghostbusters Broadway tv talk critics Quiz kaiju black SDCC Oscars australia Musical CBS All Access rom-coms The Arrangement boxoffice sequels elevated horror 2016 golden globe awards Election pirates of the caribbean comedies screen actors guild comic books composers historical drama Polls and Games The CW Mary poppins Action Horror quibi E3 royal family GLAAD sitcom Starz die hard MTV fresh Alien SundanceTV Emmy Nominations ABC Signature A24 new zealand football Nat Geo 007 Best and Worst Amazon Prime Video toronto cartoon rt archives Netflix new star wars movies jurassic park Academy Awards Comedy Cosplay 99% Drama CNN Bravo Mary Tyler Moore Rocketman BAFTA PBS VH1 Song of Ice and Fire chucky RT21 The Witch ratings legend Syfy stop motion Binge Guide Extras foreign biography medical drama cops 4/20 Freeform Television Critics Association justice league Captain marvel comic book movie movies disaster Western MCU cancelled TV series 2015 mcc slasher Peacock TCM Sundance Now dc NYCC cults cancelled dramedy independent TV renewals 45 latino IFC Films Sneak Peek Anna Paquin spanish language natural history DGA comiccon crossover new york mutant LGBTQ hidden camera dragons YouTube Premium Valentine's Day marvel cinematic universe zombies Pixar movie Fall TV parents Crackle Kids & Family game of thrones zero dark thirty kong mockumentary werewolf cooking adventure screenings what to watch game show Apple TV+ Christmas NBC diversity versus breaking bad Elton John 2020 hollywood Tokyo Olympics Awards dceu Box Office TNT Walt Disney Pictures