Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)

By Bill Leon (Two Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Of all the important fake musicians, Dewey Cox has the most prestigious fake legacy. This guy lived one of the most amazing fake lives in history! If Walk the Line did anything positive for this world, it’d be inspiring Walk Hard.

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Joaquin Phoenix has to think about his entire life before he goes on stage.

A Toast

There’s too much to praise here. Let’s start with the obvious. John C. Reilly oozes charisma and presence in general but Dewey Cox is probably one of his finest hours in comedy. He nails every musical genre they try and never fails to impress throughout the soundtrack. His acting is over the top when it needs to be, restrained when it needs to be, pitch perfect as we’ve come to expect from the guy.

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We’ll just pretend this never happened.

Supporting cast here is great as well. Matt Besser, Chris Parnell, and Tim Meadows as Dewey Cox’s backing band all get great one-liners in and if you’re a comedy nerd like myself, its great to see these three under-appreciated performers getting some deserved screen time and good material. The cameos they got for the famous music icons are nothing short of phenomenal. Jack White as Elvis Presley, Frankie Muniz as Buddy Holly, Jack Black as Paul McCartney, Paul Rudd as John Lennon, Justin Long as George Harrison, Jason Schwartzman as Ringo Starr. The cameos are full of win in this film.

The soundtrack is pretty solid from top to bottom. They run the gamut of pop music throughout history and crush every single genre they tackle. Personal favorite tracks include “(Mama) You’ve Got to Love Your Negro Man,” “Guilty as Charged,” the spot-on Bob Dylan spoof “Royal Jelly,” the disco cover of David Bowie’s “Star Man” and the final track, “(Have You Heard the News) Dewey Cox Died”… but really, I think its pretty safe to say as a whole this is one soundtrack a fan of old pop music will LOVE.

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Like most of the film, the way he comes up with song titles is hysterical.

Beer Two

The director’s cut of the film-alternately titled American Cox: The Long, Self-Indulgent Director’s Cut– is superior to the theatrical cut. The theatrical cut just seems thin in comparison. For the true Walk Hard experience, go for the director’s cut!

Verdict

2beers

Walk Hard hits pretty much every kind of music you’d want to see. The way they satirize the biopic is brutal but hilarious throughout. It’s funny as hell, well acted and overall a loving tribute to pop music history. The last great ‘spoof’ movie to come out with a mainstream release, Walk Hard is a modern comedy classic and a fine musical satire that grows on me more and more with each passing year.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for songs!

Take a Drink: when someone being cut in half is referenced

Take a Drink: when you catch a specific reference like the sprawling Pet Sounds-like epic”Black Sheep”

Take a Drink: every time Dewey rips a sink from the wall

Do a Shot: every time Dewey gets addicted to a new drug

About Bill Leon

Writer/Podcast at Movieboozer

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