Walk Hard The Dewey Cox Story
John C. Reilly, Kristen Wiig, Jenna Fisher
Cameos by Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett, Harold Ramis
Directed by Jake Kasdan
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2008
96 minutes plus Extras

Walk Hard, The Dewey Cox Story makes Spinal Tap look like it was done on a quadriplegic. This comedy is brilliant, extraordinary original, fantastic, hilarious, and sublime.

It is abundantly clear in the first five minutes this is going to be a very intelligent, over the top mocking of both musical biopics and comedies about the music biz.

Walk Hard is a watch again and again keeper that nails every single one of its targets and moments.

One of the many reasons this comedy works is it does not waste any time yet covers a  lot of story and elements of musical biopics without anything feeling jammed in.

In the first seven minutes, Dewey Cox has gone through a great tragedy and, the very same day, learned to play the blues in 5 seconds flat. In another movie, this would be unbelievable. Here, it is just part of why the movie works.

It is not a spoiler to say the basic biographical movie arc is here: rise to fame, crashing, and a rediscovery by the music world and new found and better appreciated fame. It is how it is done in this comedy that makes it all worth while.

Fans of movies about musicians like Ray, The Buddy Holly Story, La Bamba, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Walk The Line, or Great Balls of Fire who have a sense of humor will cherish the many spoofs and tips of the hats to these movies.

If you are not familiar with these movies, Walk Hard just plain works because of John C. Reilly’s acting, a wickedly intelligent and funny script (Judd Apatow), and brilliant directing that knows where all the laughs are and does not milk a single one.

My favorite bit is when Cox goes through a sixties Dylan period: the spoof is absolutely dead on. The Beatles moments are also amazingly dead on as are the impersonations of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

There are also references to the Beach Boys, the Partridge Family, and a few more I probably missed.

A fun part of this movie is playing the spot the fake cameo by a dead rock and roll celebrity (Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, Lennon, Harrison, etc). The lyrics to the songs are also some of the best in the comedy song business: “In my dreams you’re blowin’ me … some kisses. / You and I could go down … in history. Let’s duet. In ways that make us feel good.”

How good is Walk Hard, The Dewey Cox Story? Hell, even the commentary track with Jake Kastan, Judd Apatow, John C. Reilly, and Lew Morton is funny, original, and over the top so pay close attention to the commentary when you see Dewey’s wife and their many kids for the first time.

I especially appreciated you could play that track as subtitle to the movie.


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