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

animated comiccon PaleyFest Kids & Family renewed TV shows Comedy Central LGBTQ true crime Pet Sematary Women's History Month APB 71st Emmy Awards revenge 2015 Star Trek 20th Century Fox Captain marvel canceled TV shows Rock WGN Stephen King First Reviews Red Carpet DC Universe FOX hist quibi Tubi Disney Channel Country political drama Netflix Ghostbusters Certified Fresh Hallmark Musicals TIFF Tumblr CBS All Access independent Apple TV Plus Mindy Kaling what to watch MTV natural history Disney+ Disney Plus Avengers Action kids Shondaland festivals Showtime First Look CNN Holidays BBC golden globes Warner Bros. TV 007 Sneak Peek richard e. Grant Lifetime Christmas movies versus historical drama Trophy Talk singing competition Christmas TBS A&E ratings Sony Pictures Martial Arts Reality comics Star Wars 2020 Black Mirror Trailer miniseries RT21 Arrowverse El Rey Tomatazos biography Turner Classic Movies Pride Month YouTube Red series Mystery dceu Television Academy Comics on TV Comedy Bravo Pirates anime Freeform Disney Plus DirecTV 45 WarnerMedia batman game show movies stand-up comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Hulu strong female leads SundanceTV National Geographic technology Ellie Kemper award winner Awards Lionsgate diversity DC Comics Fall TV Walt Disney Pictures YA Sundance Now Fantasy dogs CBS 2017 Infographic Sundance latino crossover IFC Films Britbox robots Western A24 rotten movies we love Spike Syfy NBC Drama TCM CW Seed spider-man video mutant Disney streaming service Ovation Holiday GLAAD zombies Election VH1 Schedule free movies police drama vampires Spectrum Originals Lifetime Winners cinemax elevated horror Cannes Summer Character Guide Masterpiece Amazon Prime binge crime drama 24 frames HBO Max ABC Family war unscripted Toys Academy Awards boxoffice ESPN BET dragons Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Peacock hispanic Mary Tyler Moore Comic Book Superheroes cats Marathons Winter TV American Society of Cinematographers Marvel blockbuster Opinion San Diego Comic-Con Anna Paquin Amazon Writers Guild of America television Watching Series Fox News canceled Paramount E! History Horror spinoff spy thriller Biopics period drama movie Marvel Television Family serial killer Spring TV Vudu crime thriller YouTube Premium Year in Review MCU Countdown YouTube crime TCA Winter 2020 Nat Geo Classic Film Best and Worst 2019 CMT Teen Mary poppins aliens toy story SXSW 2018 The Purge slashers science fiction Brie Larson game of thrones OWN Extras romance Box Office Adult Swim See It Skip It E3 GoT Sci-Fi AMC Epix ITV Lucasfilm Thanksgiving breaking bad space facebook Musical christmas movies zero dark thirty sports Dark Horse Comics dramedy spain The Arrangement politics Interview Elton John Discovery Channel SDCC justice league Superheroe Photos harry potter The CW social media Binge Guide cancelled television FX USA disaster LGBT theme song Super Bowl travel Song of Ice and Fire New York Comic Con Paramount Network cancelled TV series Premiere Dates TLC joker TCA Oscars sitcom finale Starz Cosplay dc Amazon Studios Apple TV+ Rom-Com adventure Nickelodeon Baby Yoda Heroines RT History sequel Universal talk show NYCC Valentine's Day Tarantino Turner teaser Polls and Games Quiz casting indie Cartoon Network Set visit Emmy Nominations BBC America composers HBO directors documentary jamie lee curtis Reality Competition TV renewals book ghosts adaptation supernatural psycho TNT Podcast GIFs mockumentary based on movie IFC discovery thriller Crackle Pop President TV Land Food Network reboot blaxploitation Creative Arts Emmys Film cancelled FXX Rocky screenings TCA 2017 PBS Video Games witnail USA Network Pixar psychological thriller Film Festival comic The Walking Dead Netflix Christmas movies werewolf cults Grammys Animation Hallmark Christmas movies cooking transformers cops halloween name the review anthology south america Crunchyroll Awards Tour cartoon Amazon Prime Video cancelled TV shows Marvel Studios cars VICE Nominations Esquire Chernobyl Acorn TV Endgame tv talk 2016 zombie Music streaming screen actors guild Mary Poppins Returns Columbia Pictures DGA MSNBC green book Trivia Sundance TV ABC sag awards children's TV medical drama nature 21st Century Fox OneApp Calendar spanish language docudrama Shudder The Witch Mudbound romantic comedy Rocketman doctor who TruTV Logo foreign Disney Apple DC streaming service X-Men Emmys