WILD HOGS Directed by Walt Becker
The downside of longevity -- the post-40 angst that sends grown men on journeys to recover lost youth, only to reprise its foolishness -- posseses intrinsic comic value. This delusional behavior in adults "old enough to know better" lies at the heart of Wild Hogs. And while the egalitarian midlife crisis proves an equal itch to all afflicted, the salve that soothes may vary according to affluence.
In Wild Hogs, four friends simultaneously confront the haunting specter of vanishing virility with bravado inversely proportional to the timidity it disguises. This chest thumping by a dentist (Tim Allen), a plumber (Martin Lawrence), a computer-geek (William H. Macy), and a businessman (John Travolta) married to a top model manifests itself in a cross-country motorcycle ride.
Already a motorcycle club (they wear black leather jackets with their logo on the back), riding together weekly, these models of masculinity constitute an entrenched part of their town annual parade, throwing candy to the kiddies. They've been around the block.
So ignited, they take off for a week as "free sprits", not really sure what this constitutes. Predictably, they run into a real group of motorcycle toughs, who take umbrage to what they consider a mockery.
Their tenacious sense of mission yields a fun but not brilliant comedy. Wild Hogs features seasoned actors providing the increasingly rare comedic offering not depending on T&A.
FRACTURE Directed by Gregory Hoblit
Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant mind, has it all: a successful company, a spacious and comfortable abode, and a beautiful wife (Embeth Davidtz). As becomes such men, well into middle age, his spouse, more than a few years his junior, serves as a trophy, a symbol of his redoubtable power.
Disappointingly, he finds himself sharing what should be her undiluted affection and adulation. This unremovable tarnish on what this megalomaniac considers his gilded possession proves unbearable. The cuckolding by a police detective (Ryan Gosling), a mere public servant, proves more than he can bear.
His retribution, in keeping with his self-image, could not be simple. The revenge, if it is to soothe the wound of his ego, must be extracted through an open and painful humiliation of the offending party.
The design of this thriller, buttressed by Hopkin's portrayal, makes for gripping entertainment.