Walk Hard - The Dewey Cox Story [REVIEW]

It seems that wonderboy Judd Apatow can do now wrong with his comedy dominance over movie theaters as of late. But taking a break from the real life gross-out comedies like SUPERBAD and KNOCKED UP, Apatow and Jake Kasdan share writing duties for their new endeavor, WALK HARD. Also directed by Kasdan, this film is a bit of a spoof of 2 music biopics (Ray CharlesRAY and Johnny Cash’s WALK THE LINE with a smidgeon of THE DOORS) – think TALLADEGA NIGHTS more in humor and absolute absurdity.

The movie starts out with a young Dewey Cox accidentally chopping his much more talented brother in half with a machete. The brother’s dying wish is that Dewey become “double good” for both of them, and Dewey swiftly promises to make his brother proud. Blessed with “the blues” at such a young age gives Dewey the talent he needs to get the attention of not only the African-American patrons of the general store in which he belts out his first blues…but also the high school talent show where the girls rip off shirts and the guys punch out older folks proclaiming Dewey’s song as “The Devil’s Music.”

DEWEY COX is played throughout his life by JOHN C. REILLY from the age of 14 to the age of 75. It’s a great gag that rings true of other biopics that show the “young” musicians looking not really young at all. No attempt is made to make him look younger, his pock-marked haggard face is just a great visual. After his 1st talent show appearance, Dewey stands up to his father who believes “the wrong son died,” grabs the first girl he spotted in the audience, and heads out on his own to “make it.”

What ensues is a Pop Culture fanatic’s dream team of cameos. It's not just the REALLY famous people but the people that have starred in previous APATOW films. Paul Rudd as John Lennon? Check. Jack Black as Paul McCartney? Check. But there were some great random musical cameos as well. Besides Jewel, Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett, and Eddie Vedder playing themselves, my personal favorite of the entire film - Jack White played KARATE/SWITCHBLADE Elvis!!!! And no surprise there...he was brilliant!!!!! Perhaps the funniest part of the movie and honestly, cannot wait for the DVD to see the extra/deleted/extended scenes so I can only hope that I get more Jack White for my buck!

While the movie can be quite slow in parts, the funny moments do a great deal of making up for the dragging within the story. If you like TALLADEGA NIGHTS and ANCHORMAN, then you are going to dig on this film more than you can realize. Dewey Cox learns the true meaning of family and love after many many many failures, which follow a similar path of the typical musician's explicit drug use, experimentation with different types of songs, groupies, and the like. While it may seem cruel to those that find the lives of Ray Charles or Johnny Cash as tragic, it really is a great spoof of their films rather than a mocking of the people themselves.

And the songs themselves are pretty damn funny too - with my personal favorite being the song that runs during the end credits, Dewey Cox singing about his own death. "Did you hear the news today? / Dewey Cox has died." Classic.

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