We have a winner. This laugh-free, woefully uninspired film version of the southern good ol' boy TV series (1979-85) may be the year's worst movie. It's only August, so there's still time for studios to submit other contenders, but The Dukes of Hazzard is the one to beat. It's boring-bad rather than fun-bad, and connoisseurs of lousy movies know that there's a vast difference.
How is it awful? Let's count the ways:
1) For most of the movie, Dukes alternates between routinely staged brawls and car chases. Miraculously the General Lee (right), Bo Duke's beloved 1969 Dodge Charger, never needs a gas refill.
2) The plot—cousins Bo (Scott), Luke (Knoxville) and Daisy Duke (Simpson) try to foil a landgrab by Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds)—generates as much suspense as whether Lance Armstrong dons yellow annually.
3) Simpson, making her much-ballyhooed film debut, evinces little talent besides posing bodaciously. (For how she got in shape, see page 80.) Her acting skills rival fellow warblers Britney Spears and Mariah Carey's. And her teeth are so freakishly white-bright one could read by them at night.
The film boasts one solid joke: After someone refers to the Duke boys as hillbillies, Luke corrects him. "We prefer Appalachian-Americans," he says. Yee-haw. (PG-13)