HAZZARD IN HOLLYWOOD
All sorts of complications arise when the Duke's set out for Hollywood to raise money for the building of a Hazzard Hospital.
It's clear that writers Gy Waldron and Bob Clarke were determined, this time around, to change the format and open up the story in order to make it as big as possible. The budget has been noticeably increased; the presentation is glossier; the various characters have all been broadened. Unfortunately, amid all these changes, the charm of the show has become rather lost. For all the sterling attempts to give the story a feeling of modernity, scenes of warring street gangs and crooked Russian Mafiya dealings only seem to give the plot a disconcertingly uncomfortable feeling.
In terms of storyline the writers have plumped for a whole series of sub-plots for each individual character, rather than a fully homogenous plot. (The 'charity' story seems only to have been used as a catalyst to get the characters out of Hazzard in the first place). This use of multiple tales certainly makes the film move quickly (too quickly at times) but it creates a disjointed feeling along the way.
Luke encounters a lost love; Bo falls in love with a Mexican girl; Daisy becomes a stuntwoman; Enos is a dashing hunky detective; Rosco gets badly into debt. There are several musical numbers; Cooter grapples with part of the legacy of the recently deceased Uncle Jesse, while Russian hit squads roam the streets and potentially valuable tapes are stolen. Keeping up with all of this is something of a challenge and there are so many threads to tie up that physical action doesn't get too much of a look-in.
However, despite all this (or maybe because of) the film moves along at a very smart pace and the writers ultimately succeed in binding all the elements together. Because of the locations chosen (Californian urban sprawl) stunt footage from the original series was ruled out. Subsequently, all the action is new and often spectacular. The final chase through the streets of L.A. and onto the back-lots of various film studios is very smart (although rather too gimmicky at times; to the extent of partially obscuring some good physical action), while the General's airborne stunt down the length of a city street is quite brilliant and one of the films (literal) high-points.
If you can adjust to this Movies rather brash cotemporary style (quite unlike that of the series) you'll no doubt enjoy it.