There are some trailers that look so soul-crushingly awful, I instinctively start making fun of the movie without even seeing it. But is that really fair? I mean, maybe The Lake House had the potential to make me weep like Brokeback Mountain. Maybe Eddie Murphy’s performance in Norbit was as award-worthy as his turn in Dreamgirls. And maybe I was just too wrapped up in my feelings of superiority to go see ‘em. Well, no más, PopWatchers. I’ve decided that from now on, I’m going to tackle one movie every month whose trailer makes recoil in disgust — to find out if it’s as bad as advertised, or perhaps unexpectedly good. We begin the journey with the Tim Allen-John Travolta road-trip vehicle Wild Hogs, which got a C- in EW, and which your unfortunate correspondent (pictured, at the theater) found as uninspired and flavorless as the chocolate-peanut butter cupcake I snuck into the auditorium to accompany a small concession-stand Diet Coke that, much to my chagrin, cost me $4.01. (Don’t answer this, but what does it say about me that it was the one cent, and not the whopping four bucks, that really got under my skin?) Anyhow, here’s my by-the-numbers assessment:
- Total running time: 99 minutes
- Number of times I laughed during the film: 4*
- Number of laughs per minute: 0.04
- Most humiliating moment for each of the film’s stars: Tim Allen chugs gravy, eats stick of butter; John Travolta’s penis compared to crawfish; Martin Lawrence maniacally sprays rivals with ketchup and mustard; William H. Macy’s character repeatedly presented as butt of joke for eco-friendly decision to carry excrement in a plastic bag.
- Number of scenes featuring icky “We’re not gay! Really, we’re not!” jokes/scenarios: 9
- Number of times I suppressed a groan of pity for Oscar winner Marisa Tomei: 3
- Number of times Travolta, Allen, Lawrence, and Macy shown lined up from behind while urinating: 2**
* Actually, five, but I didn’t count one guffaw caused by Ray Liotta’s off-the-charts overacting as a violent, angry biker dude.
** Once with visible streams of urine!
Anyhow, that’s my take. If you joined me in contributing to Wild Hogs’ $38 million opening weekend, then by all means, share your thoughts in the comments section below.