Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Cover Life’s a strange old thing, isn’t it. If you are funny, it will be sunny. If you are sad, it will be bad. Well, that is how the old saying goes. OK, not so old – as I just made it up about a couple of seconds ago – however, I am sure you will 'get' this film, one Directed by: Jake Kasdan; and Starring John C. Reilly, Jack Black, and Jenna Fischer. It was made in 2003, and lasts for a whole 93 minutes.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Now you would have thought that by accidentally cutting your brother in half and then loosing your sense of smell – as a child – was a bad thing, right? But no, not to Dewey Cox (John C Reilly). Due to this accident, he uses his emotions to (1) Learn to play music in his teenage years. (2) Grow estranged from his parents whilst gaining a teenage wife and children. (3) Gets’ noticed by some Hasidic Jewish record executives whilst filling in for an injured performer in an all black nightclub. (4) Gains’ a record contract during a music session. And (5) Then, with a new band behind him, Dewey hits the big time, YIE-HA!

However, all of this does come with some pit falls you know. Well, Dewey starts to drift from his wife and starts taking taking drugs you see. Moreover, his mother dies in a freak accident because of his success.

Though, on the reverse side of this equation, a woman enters Dewey’s life that makes him feel good about himself again – Darlene Madison (Jenna Fisher) – which is nice.

You see, Dewey first met Darlene when he hires her as a backing singer for his band. And, over time, his lust for her grows to such an extent, that he marries her.

But wait a minute! Isn't Dewey is already married? Yep - and when this fact is eventually revealed to all parties involved, both women leave him - thus propelling Dewey on a downward spiral of sex, drugs, bad music, crime, and rehabilitation.

Fortunately, though, once Dewey is back on his feet again, Darleen returns to him - and together they charter a number of periods in Dewey’s life, evolving him both as a man and what he stands for.

The first period is Dewey’s life is his ‘Dylan period’ – in which he changes his style of music, meets the Beatles (inc. Jack Black as Paul McCartney), and starts taking LSD.

Then, the next period is Dewey’s life, is his ‘innovative period’ – in which he tries to experiment with his music, losses his band and his wife, before having another stint in rehab due to a mental breakdown.

Finally, there is Dewey’s ‘disco period’ – where he hosts a camp television show, and starts hallucinating about his dead brother, who goads him to see his father to air any differences that Dewey has with him.

And does this work? Err - kind of - because the two of them do put a lot of ghosts’ to rest, but in doing so, Dewey’s father accidentally cuts himself in half – sh*t!

Nevertheless, that is why what next transpires is a right lifetime to end all lifetimes. As self destruction leads to neglected children - fatherhood leads to love - and one last hurrah leads to a pine box.

Now that is what you call 'Walking Hard' baby!!!!!

'Walk Hard - The Dewey Cox Story' is a film that has sets out and does exactly what it wanted to do in the first place – take two musical bio-pic’s (‘Ray’ and ‘Walk the Line’) and then have a bit of fun with them. Now I am sure that this is meant as no disrespect to the men that these noted bio-pic’s have conveyed, oh no – though I am sure that due to the similarities that these two films have, someone was going to do it sooner or later. Moreover, this film does it with all the elegance of a rhinoceros having a gang-bang with a whale and a pony – somewhat blatantly.

However, whilst saying all of that, at the same time this movie does pay extra care and attention to the structure of these films – the dialogue in these films – the casting of these films – and the sets used as well. And, in my own opinion, it is precisely because of this type of care to detail which saves ‘Walk Hard’ from falling into any of the pitfalls that most spoof film’s do.

Walk Hard Song

For a start, it tells a story – which is always a good thing in my book. Secondly, even though it is somewhat fractured in the narrative, (like all bio-pic’s) it also uses this structure to lay down the framework in an astute way – which I feel makes the film less jumpy and more traveled. And thirdly, it is f*cking funny – nuff said.

Granted, some of the comedy is repetitive in nature – but it’s the kind of comedy that not only pokes fun at what it is spoofing, but also pokes fun at itself for spoofing it in the first place. A good example of this would be the way that Dewey keeps on ripping out sink-basins from the wall whenever he is sad, or when Dewey keeps on stumbling upon his drummer taking drugs, whom then refuses to give any to him.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story The Band

Oh! And while I am on the subject of the drummer, I have to talk about the music, as it is a musical bio-pic – sort of? Now what can I say about the music? Hmm? It’s country in origin, rhythmic is sound, and innovative on the original. I like it – but then again I do like country music, especially those songs that tell a story, spread a little cheer, and then make me think for a while – like this film – this good spoof film. Here, check this clip out to see what I mean...

as it is a beautiful film too.

WALK HARD - THE DEWEY COX STORY WALK HARD - THE DEWEY COX STORY Reviewed by David Andrews on May 03, 2011 Rating: 5
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