Warner Bros. // 1997 // 178 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dennis Prince (Retired) // June 25th, 2008
Those rubber burnin' rebels from Hazzard County are back. Wish I could deny it, though.
There's no denying that 1979's The Dukes of Hazzard was a television phenomenon that spanned seven seasons and distilled up a whopping 147 episodes. The show whipped up a fast following thanks to a heaping helping of southern testosterone (burly John Schneider and Tom Wopat providing the manly view for the ladies), curvy female sex appeal (provided by busty Catherine Bach), high octane car chases (lead by the throaty roar of the General Lee), and intellectually non-challenging Hee-Haw type humor. Even though America was still steeped in a love affair with the fabulous Fifties (see Happy Days) and disco music (hear Saturday Night Fever), this simple-minded show was a ratings winner for its entire run, largely thanks to its ability to maintain the original cast from start to finish.
The format of The Dukes of Hazzard revolved around southern corruption in the local government and attending judiciary, this perpetrated by the buffoonish yet bullying Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) and supported by equally compromised yet inept Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane (James Best). The Dukes, Bo (Schneider), Luke (Wopat), and Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle) are flanked by cousin Daisy (Bach) and friend Cooter (Ben Jones) to team up against Hogg and his schemes to exploit the good people of Hazzard County. Chases ensue, inept slapstick transpires, and a whoopin' good time is had by the Dukes and their friends in the end.
It's been twelve years since the Dukes last went up against troubles within Hazzard county but now, in The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!, old Uncle Jesse is on the outs with the Hazzard folk as he stands in the way of a theme park development that would bring an economic boost to the struggling county -- but at the cost of steamrolling over the Duke farm. Jesse rounds up the whole gang to run a competitive road race where the winner can determine the outcome of Duke farm. Naturally, the ever-corrupt Roscoe has been bought off by the park developer and is determined to win the competition, no matter how underhanded things might become.
Three years later, it's time for the goofballs of Duke County to descend upon Tinseltown in The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood. A new scheme is being cooked up on the wrong side of the county as former Boss Hogg crony Patch (Keith Brunsmann) determines to illicitly round up performance tapes from the Hazzard County Hospital Fair and sell them to a corrupt Hollywood record company. Better yet, Patch will convince the unwitting Bo and Luke to act as couriers of the tapes and let them deal with the unseemly record company charlatans. Antics, of course, ensue.
If you're a long-time fan of The Dukes of Hazzard, you probably found the Reunion! telefilm to be a nostalgic jaunt that did a fairly respectable job of remind the enthusiasts of what they've been missing in the decade-plus lapse. It's pretty much spun of the same thread as the original show though it does appear tired when played to audiences of the cynical 1990s (they distracted with the oncoming New Millennium). The real backfire of this stripped-down two-disc set, however, is the woeful Hazzard in Hollywood debacle that barely resembles much anything from the original series yet somehow got green-lighted for production. As noted, there's nothing more on this disc except the two films, presented in original full frame broadcast format. The transfers are competent and clear though you will see occasional source print damage. The audio comes by way of a suitable Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix. There are no extras to be found.
If you're a true-blue fan of The Dukes of Hazzard, then you're a likely candidate to purchase this two-film disc for the sake of completism. If you're looking for new entertainment value, be sure to avoid this off-ramp to Hazzard County.
Guilty of opportunistic corruption.
Review content copyright © 2008 Dennis Prince; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 178 Minutes
Release Year: 1997
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* IMDb: The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!
* IMDb: The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood