Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) Poster

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8/10
The Wrong Movie Bombed Warning: Spoilers
When young Dewey Cox accidentally cuts his brother in half with a machete, it sets him on a long, hard, and winding road that traverses the most profoundly important moments in modern music history spanning the 1950's to today. "Walk Hard" was erroneously advertised as yet another comedic romp from Judd Apatow. While as the co-screenwriter here many of Apatow's trademarks can be found including the usual sophomoric sexual humor and ironic pop-culture references, "The Dewey Cox Story" is actually closer in spirit to the mocumentaries of Christopher Guest ("This is Spinal Tap!" and "Best in Show") as channeled through the spastic colon of the "Naked Gun" films.

This is a parody played hilariously straight. The target of its mockery is so succinct and sharply pointed--the recent Oscar-winning musical biopics "Ray" and "Walk the Line"--that the film's true comedic genius may be lost on people who didn't really pay attention to those films or thought this would just be another "Superbad." The film's mimesis of its source materials is so spot-on, that it even follows their same cadence and nearly falls apart midway as it glosses over many points in history and aspects of the musician's life while covering every cliché possible from the temptations of life on the road with drugs and groupies to bouts in rehab and bitter divorces to long dry periods that suddenly make way for life-altering inspiration.

At the center of "Walk Hard" is John C. Reilly who sings and acts his heart out to hilarious effect. A former Oscar nominee for "Chicago", Reilly has since cut a niche for himself as the second banana to bigger comedy stars like Will Ferrell in "Talladega Nights" and for the first time gets a film to call his own. Tim Meadows is shockingly funny as the friend who ushers in Cox's decent into drug use (his overly accentuated but still deadpan line deliveries are priceless), while Jenna Fishcher is sprite and lovely as the June Carter cutie to Cox's Johnny Cash wannabee. Other SNL players including Kristin Wiig and Chris Parnell and Apatow alumni like Paul Rudd (as John Lennon!) and Jonah Hill pop in and out of the film amidst an onslaught of funny sight-gags and one-liners. Also in on the fun is a cavalcade of current music stars including the lead singer of the White Stipes as Elvis and Eddie Vedder as himself doing a nonsensical quasi-spiritual riff on Cox's legacy while presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The heart of "Walk Hard" is in the music. If you were to not listen so closely, you might be fooled into thinking these were actual hit songs from their respective time periods. Of course, listening to the lyrics is part of the fun. The ridiculously silly double-entendres in Cox's duet with his honey-to-be Darlene are especially funny, while I personally found their spoof of a Bob Dylan song to be downright brilliant. Since the writers took the time to be so verbose and intricate with their nonsensical free-form versing, they allowed the bit to work on multiple levels as both an homage and a biting jab at Dylan's alleged lyrical genius.

Utimately "Walk Hard", in ways both monumentally stupid and unfathomably smart, proves to be almost too clever for its own good. It may have bombed in it's first-run at the box office, but I would imagine it will eventually find its audience. In one pivotal early scene Cox begs his wife to believe in him and his dreams of becoming a successful singer. She replies something to the effect of, "Oh, baby, I do. I just believe you're gonna fail." I couldn't have said it better myself, and it still has me laughing.
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7/10
Dewey Cox: Riley makes him real
Terry Meehan25 April 2008
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (rated R). Directed by Jake Kasden. Written by Judd Apatow and Jake Kasden. Starring John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Raymond J. Berry, Kristen Wiig, Tim Meadows, Harold Ramis & Chris Parnell. Running Time: 96 minutes. Originally appeared in LakewoodBuzz.com.

OVERVIEW:

Like the film Ray (2004), a young boy and his brother frolic in the bucolic wonderland of the American South of the 1930s. Like Walk the Line (2005), a young man leaves his loving mother and hateful father to find solace in his music. Like... well, you get the idea. This film is primarily a send-up of the musical bio-pic, as Dewey Cox (Riley) channels nearly every rock icon that ever took the stage... from Dylan, Cash, Orbison, and Presley to Brian Wilson. Like his fellow rock stars, Dewey is often tempted by drugs and sex. In a hilarious motif, he is constantly opening a door and finding his drummer, Sam (Meadows), behind it with sexy backup singers and the latest drug of choice. "You don't want any part of this s**t," Sam says, and proceeds to tell Dewey all of the drug's benefits. Despite their wayward ways, Dewey and his band are discovered by a trio of Hasidic Jews and begin to record a remarkable string of number-one hits. As he cruises the decades like Forrest Gump with a guitar, Dewey meets all of his legendary contemporaries, played by uncredited actors you are likely to recognize. Watch especially for Lennon, McCartney and Buddy Holly.

REVIEW: 3 out of 4 Java Mugs

What is remarkable about this movie is the way we feel about the main character, Dewey Cox. It's easy to find sympathy for the likes of Johnny Cash and Ray Charles because we knew them as real people. But why do we feel so strongly about a singer we know does not really exist? Some of the credit goes to the filmmakers, who know which emotional buttons to push, but mostly we have Riley to thank. In an amazing portrayal, he takes what could have been a spoof-worthy sap and turns him into a fully developed character we really care about. Riley actually becomes Dewey Cox, by singing his heart out and even helping to write many of the film's songs.

Other performances are also worthy of note, particularly Fischer's sultry Darlene, Wiig's ever-pregnant Edith and Meadows' drug-addled drummer.

Though Riley's singing is quite good, it is still nice to have the likes of Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne, Jewel, Ghostface Killah and Eddie Vedder playing themselves and singing those Dewey Cox originals. But none of the music was as brilliant as an early scene with Honeyboy Edwards singing the blues.
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10/10
possibly best comedy ever
lcalloway0115 December 2009
I've watched this movie around 50 times. Literally one of the funniest movies ever made. It would be great if it was a movie that kids could enjoy as well, but that is my only complaint. 100% adult themes and shows way too much for a responsible parent to allow children to watch.

When I was a kid we had Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Porky's. This is a hilarious movie, and I suggest watching it repeatedly since there will be a lot of things you will catch and fall over laughing at if you understand the movie at all. John C Reilly comes into a class A acting role with this one. And deserves it.

Great music as well as amazing acting. I cannot recommend this movie highly enough. Love it.
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8/10
Hysterical and Clever movie!
SourGreenapple4226 December 2007
"Walk Hard" is a clever parody of the life of a rock-star, and bio-pics such as "Walk the line", "Ray" and "La Bamba". It follows the formula nearly perfectly, and follows fake rock-star legend Dewey Cox (and yes, they do have plenty of puns with his name, but this is to be expected) through his life in the 50's, 60's, 70's and into today.

The surprise of "Walk Hard" is that although it was written by the guys who made "Superbad" and "Knocked Up", and has the "formula spoof" similar to "Scary Movie" and "Epic Movie", this film manages to be quite intelligent, and manages to avoid overly gross out humor. While it has its share of gross out and slapstick gags, it isn't completely idiotic, while movies such as "Epic Movie" or "Talladega Nights" tend to be totally moronic and disgusting. The humor here is very observational, self-parodying, ironic, surreal, dark and often hysterical.

The reason why "Walk Hard" works well is because of its somewhat wicked sense of humor. It manages to ironically "overdue" the jokes to the point that you can see the actual funny part is that it is being overdone and over-the-top. It self implies that something is going to go bad, and makes the audience clearly see what path the scene is heading towards, which is also another part of its sense of humor.

The performances are very good as well. John Reilly plays Dewey very well, and his naive but good natured persona often plays out hysterically in contrast to a society often attempting to harm him. His character does lack some substance and emotional depth, though this is to be expected in the humorous nature of the film, and is the writing, not the acting. He plays the role from ages 14 to 71, and the goofy age difference between Reilly and how old of a character he is playing is another one of the film's ironic self-aware quirky jokes, in which he constantly reminds us of his age throughout the film so we can see this, as well as the purposely awkward looking make-up.

Jenna Fischer is great as his love interest and duet partner, a parody of Reese Witherspoon in "Walk the Line", who falls on and off for Dewey throughout the movie based on his life decisions, another movie formula cliché. Tim Meadows is hysterical as Cox' drug-addict drummer and long time friend, with all of his lines being in a tongue-in-cheek and smart-ass manner, and a hysterical repetition of scenes where he introduces Cox to drugs.

All in all, the only problem with this movie is that it is quite uneven. The movie seems to spend a large time dealing with Dewey's life in the 50's, not spending much time in the 60's, 70's or 90's, and spending no time in the 80's. It jumps into his problem a bit fast and doesn't go into depth into some areas of his life as much as others.

However, despite being somewhat uneven, "Walk Hard" remains a very entertaining, very funny, and witty movie. It is quite tragic that this opening weekend went up against the liking of nearly 4 very popular movies, resulting in a box office failure of this film. Hopefully next week, or in the future to come, this gem of a comedy (A rare thing in 2007), can be seen and gain a reputation among others.
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9/10
They've done it again!
reid2388200721 December 2007
I must admit that I went into this one already thinking it would be another home run by Apatow and the gang. And they did not disappoint. John C. Reily has turned in his most comedic performance to date which is something considering his roles in Talledega Nights and Boogie Nights.

Johnny Cash probably is rolling in his grave, but in laughter and not dismay. There are just too many classic moments in this film to label it as a long SNL skit as others have done. IT IS A MUST SEE!

I think any review can be summed by saying that this is a comedy rock biopic in the spirit of Spinal Tap with the biting wit of a Mel Brooks film. Just Classic.
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9/10
Different style but another great one from Apatow gang
steelydwill11 October 2007
As a huge fan of the previous Apatow movies, I drove recklessly through traffic to make it into an early screening of Walk Hard, and I'm happy I did. I think this movie is a different direction for Judd and his band, as it is more similar to Airplane in style than it is to Knocked Up. But that impressed me that they took that risk and made it work -- and it definitely worked as me and the rest of the theatre were laughing with regularity.

Without getting too much into the details of the movie because I hate spoilers, the thing that made this movie great to me was the unexpected humor. Like Airplane, there are a lot of times when you just don't see the next line coming, and those are the best laughs. Besides John C. Reilly in the lead role, who obviously got a lot of the funniest lines, Tim Meadows as Dewey Cox's drummer really cracked me up, and Paul Rudd as Jon Lennon cracked up the entire theatre.

It was definitely one of those movies where you're recalling a lot of funny parts a day later. So while it may be a different type of movie than the Apatow groups' other work, the sense of funny is still there, and I think this is up there with the best comedies of the year.
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9/10
Bring on the parody
vranger8 June 2009
And if there is a musical genre out there short of orchestral symphony, it gets sent up by this wonderful comedy.

Not a movie for the kiddies by a long shot, but if you are familiar with music artists from the 50s on, and especially if you lived through those periods of time, the parody of styles and stars will leave you with sore sides from laughing.

Make sure to listen closely to every lyric. They don't miss a chance to make jokes subtle or broad, and they don't take it easy on anyone.

Songs in the credits are just as funny as songs through the body of the movie, so make sure to wait around for those rather than switching off after the story itself fades to black.

A personal favorite of mine are the scenes where Dewey discovers new drugs. Although I've never taken drugs, even smoked marijuana, these scenes were just too funny to be offensive, especially the first discussion of the weed just named.

Be in the mood to watch a comedy, especially for a parody of this type. If you can't really pay attention, you won't get everything, and will just think the movie crude. Also, if you're really stuck up about what's in your comedy, then you may not like this movie.

If you're up for it, you'll die laughing.
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9/10
hilarious
mattkratz6 February 2008
I thought this was a brilliant satire of the biopic genre. It was obviously borrowed from Walk the Line, but there was plenty of other stuff thrown in as well. It was a truly hilarious movie, including the scenes where the band members convince him to try the drugs, a scene with the Beatles, the variety show stuff and interviews, all the scenes with the title character smashing the sinks, and the Walk the Line spoofs. It was very well written with lots of great dialog. You will love all the cameos and other stuff. I guarantee it. This was a tailor-made role for John C. Reilly, who is perfect in and for the part, as is just about everyone in it.

*** 1/2 out of ****
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9/10
Apatow nails it again
Harrison Hoffman16 December 2007
There is no doubt that Walk Hard is a great parody of the musician biopic as we know it today. The film is filled with rips and references to movies such as Walk the Line and Ray. Walk Hard does all of this very well, but also has its own brand of humor and jokes that stand on their own. From the time that the opening scene rolled, I knew that I was in for a treat.

Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan show their comedic genius throughout the movie, whether it be through clever dialog between characters or the genuinely funny original songs. The music performed by Dewey Cox does a great job of parodying various styles, from Dylan to Brian Wilson.

John C. Reilly is fantastic in his role as Dewey Cox and establishes himself as a solid leading man. I was also thoroughly impressed that he actually sang and played all of the music in the movie and did it well. Jenna Fischer's performance in Walk Hard may be just what her career needs right now. It's nice to finally see her breaking the mold that she has set for herself as Pam in The Office.

Walk Hard also featured a wide range of current and former SNL stars, such as Kristin Wiig and Chris Parnell. In addition, some of the regulars from past Apatow films are also featured, but I don't want to ruin any surprises here.

All in all, Walk Hard is a really solid comedy and a must see for any Apatow fans. If you are going to see Walk Hard, do yourself a favor and check out Walk the Line and Ray before going. It will make for a much more rewarding experience.
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7/10
Strangely funny
Kristine4 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
When I first saw the trailer to Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, I didn't think much of it other than "Oh, great, another Knocked Up wanna be", it just seems like they won't stop with these over the top comedies. But my friend and I decided to see it the other night and I have to admit, I really did laugh. I'm almost scared to say that the creators of the Superbad, Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin are doing a great job in the comedy genre. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is stupid humor, but it's definitely a need in our lives when it comes to films where we don't have to think but just enjoy. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story takes a joke at the big Oscar winning biographies like Walk the Line and Ray. Some of the humor is a little out there, but works like in the days of Airplane! The story is a lot of fun to watch though.

Dewey Cox is an inspiring musician with a soulful voice and the history of the blues. He is trying to do double good in his life since he accidentally macheted his brother in half. He goes on to make huge hits in life, but is constantly accused of making the "devil's music". But through his success, he finds a beautiful duet singer, Darlene and makes her his wife. But he goes through the life struggle of drugs, sex, and rock and roll. He learns the true meaning of life and must deal with the fact that he can't smell anything, but in the end learns more about his 22 kids.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is silly, but it's all in good fun. I have to admit that I am glad that I saw it, as stupid as it was at times, like I said, we all need those brainless comedies. I'm sure once people give Walk Hard a better chance when it comes out on rent, somewhere down the line this will be a classic. I mean, come on! It had Jack Black as one of the Beatles in the film! OK, I know that it sounds stupid, but believe me, it's funny. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is a fun comedy that I would recommend to see, you'll get a few good laughs out of it.

7/10
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7/10
Cal Naughton Jr. no longer finishing second
view_and_review15 June 2008
Oh yes this movie was funny. I didn't have many expectations, if any, of this movie, but it certainly delivered. I knew from the trailers and ads that the movie was going to parallel if not parody "Walk the Line", but there were also several references to "Ray". I would say one of the funniest references to "Ray" was Dewey Cox losing his sense of smell.

Initially it looked like the movie would be very cheesy with punchlines being telegraphed well ahead of time. But, even with the punchlines being blatantly set up, it was better to go with the transparent set up instead of the thinly veiled set ups that a lot of comedies use.

Interestingly enough there was not much profanity which made its usage that much funnier. Now, I certainly could've done without the male nudity, but maybe that was only in the unrated version. Even still, by and large John C. Reily held his own and the movie was terrific.
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7/10
Lots Of Laughs, Entertaining But Another Crude Comedy
ccthemovieman-121 May 2009
I got a lot of laughs out of this film but I warn those that his another modern-day crude comedy. It's definitely not "family viewing." It's a parody on "Walk The Line," the biography of Johnny Cash with John C. Reilly playing the famous singer. He is extremely funny in this role but the humor is the absurd, dark variety.....so be ready for that!

It's really a parody of the rock 'n roll/folk/psychedelic scene, more than anything, from the beginnings in the mid 50s up to the present. The majority of the film deals with the late '50s and up to the '70s. You get a lot of "digs" at folk singers, Bob Dylan and then The Beatles. It's pretty innocent and very funny. The lyrics to songs are hilarious. You also get a lot jibes as Cash and his relationship with his girlfriend-then-wife, June Carter. That latter is played by a pretty and very sexy Jenna Fisher.

What isn't innocent are the sex, drugs and adultery jokes. Some of them are funny; some are way too silly or just plain crude and unnecessary....but that's comedies of today. I mean, we don't need to see repeated shots of a guy's penis, do we? Actually, the film only goes way overboard, language-and sex-wise, in the last 30 minutes when a bunch of f-bombs are yelled out and the story goes into the sewer....before coming out with a nice, sentimental ending. I guess that was supposed to make up for the all the sleaze. It didn't; but it still was an entertaining film which flew by.

One last thing: the music in here is excellent. Some think it's the best part of the film.
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6/10
Walk Hard, Hard. Down life's rocky road. Walk bold, hard. That's my creed, my code. Walk Hard is a funny tongue-in-cheek movie, worth checking out.
ironhorse_iv22 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Considering how bad, the parody genre has gotten as of late. I was blown away by how good this movie was. It's so good, that somewhat belongs in the same levels of filmmakers: David Zucker, Monty Python and Mel Brooks's finest works. Directed by Jake Kasdan, and written and produced by Judd Apatow. 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story' tells the story of the hard-knock life of musician Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) from his rags-to-riches beginnings, his raise as a megastar country star, his struggle with drug abuse, and his redemption in his later life with his later-wife, Darlene Madison (Jenna Fischer). If this story sounds very familiar. The plot echoes the storyline of 2005's Johnny Cash biopic, 'Walk the Line' and 2004's Ray Charles biopic 'Ray'. While, Walk Hard mostly heavily references, those two films, there were also a various amounts of other biopics that the film used as inspiration, such as 2004's 'Beyond the Sea', about singer, Bobby Darin and 2007's 'I'm not There' about musician, Bob Dylan to name some. The film also includes elements of the lives and careers of Roy Orbison, Glen Campbell, Jerry Lee Lewis, Donovan, James Brown, Jim Morrison, Conway Twitty, Neil Diamond, and Brian Wilson. The film portrays fictional versions of artists Buddy Holly (Frankie Muntz), The Big Bopper (John Ennis), Elvis Presley (Jack White) and the Beatles: Paul McCarthy (Jack Black), George Harrison (Justin Long), John Lennon (Paul Rudd), and Ringo Starr (Jason Schwartzman). Additionally, some real-life artists were filmed, playing themselves, including Eddie Vedder, Jewel Kicher, Lyle Lovett and Ghostface Killah. In addition, the film feature several musical styles such as the late 1950's R&B movement, the early 1960's California Sound, the late 1960s Vietnam War Protest Folk-music style, the early 1970s, Space Oddity and last 1970s punk rock movement. Despite the humorous approach to the music genre, the film was so well crafted, that the parody music feature for the films became big hits on their own right. Songs like 'Walk Hard', 'Take my Hand', 'Guilty as charged', "Let's Duet' & others was nominated for both a Grammy and Golden Globe Award. Songwriter, Michael Andrews and Jon Reilly recorded 40 original songs, which 33 are featured in the movie. All with different music styles. That's pretty impressed. Not only that, but John Reilly sang most of the song. Who knew that John Reilly, not only was a gifted comedian, but also an amazing singer!? I didn't see it, coming. However, Singer Angela Correa did had to provide the voice of Darlene Madison Cox as Jenna couldn't pull it off. Despite that, she did pretty well for the role, that she was given. Honestly, most of the actors in this film, were funny in their own right. As a biopic parody, the movie is very funny. It hit every funny bone for me. Very few misses. If the movie had any faults; I can say, the later unrated version is very disappointing. Adding more juvenile gratuitous nudity and gross sight toilet humor doesn't really make your movie, any better. It's not fan service that most people want to see. Even women and gay people might think it's too much. Also, some of the jokes were a bit tasteless like the whole kid getting killed by a machete fight. Making fun of Johnny Cash's real-life boyhood tragedy is a bit much. It's somewhat offensive. It's shock value that really fails to gain any point of reaction than annoyed. It really doesn't add much to the film that the semi-smart dialogue double sexual entendres hasn't done better. If anything, it just makes the film plot go slower. It's no wonder, Sony felt like to cut over twenty four minutes out of the original film, when it was released. It really did make the film, seem way too long. In my opinion, just go see, the original version over this. Other negative elements of this film is how the movie doesn't really bring anything new to the table. The movie relates way too much on being clichés to be, really that funny. It felt a bit tiresome at parts, because it's predictable. It's so unlike the other comedy music films like 2003's 'A Mighty Wind' or 1984's 'This is Spiral Tap' that relies on some music movie clichés, but also brings something new to the genre to work with. Those films were a little more sophistical with its humor. You really don't know, what's going to happen in those films. Overall: Because of that, I felt like 'Walk Hard' could had been something, really great, but in the end, falls somewhere near above average. Still, I can highly recommended, seeing this film.
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10/10
A "Walk Hard" litmus test
lachcatoknca20 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
There are only two ways about it - either you think the below dialog is hilarious, or stupid:

  • This... is an particularly bad case of somebody being cut in half. I was not able to reattach the top half of his body to the bottom half of his body.


  • Speak English doc, we ain't SCIENTISTS!


If you think that's stupid, do not watch this movie. You will think that every scene is stupid.

However, if you like me think that's hilarious, then YOU MUST WATCH THIS MOVIE. Every scene is a keeper, even in the unbearably long self-indulgent director's cut ("Is he playing 'Negro Man'?").

This movie spoofs both "Walk The Line" and "Ray", and probably some other movies as well. I can't go more than 3 minutes

  • You're acting like I'm some kind of criminal!


  • You ARE, Dewey. Being married to two women at the same time is a crime!


  • What if you're famous?


without seeing something else that just cracks me up.
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8/10
Laugh Hard.
dunmore_ego9 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Musicians: this one's for us.

WALK HARD is not for Guitar Hero fakers or karaoke jackasses or talentless DJs with the audacity to call their fade-ups and fade-downs "mixing." Let me say it again: WALK HARD is for MUSICIANS; for we who have lived the road, beaten the boards, spanked the groupies, trashed the dressing room, fart-filled the studio, fed the beast our day-job dollar, and slapped the roadies and called them Susan.

The public won't get WALK HARD as deeply as musicians will. And I don't care. Cherish it, Musicians. Hug it and pet it and call it George.

After the two formulaic, Hollywood-drenched biopics, RAY and WALK THE LINE, set the standard and simultaneously lowered the bar for musician biographies, WALK HARD takes every single cliché from those glossy turkeys and parties with a penis in your face.

John C. Reilly is fictional songwriter-guitarist Dewey Cox, who rises to superstardom on the wings of cliché. Cliché so battering and obvious, we will never look at musician biopics with a straight face again, especially those featuring the seminal artists of the 50's who rose from 50's dance halls to superstardom - Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly. They ALL look like spoof biopics now!

Dewey finds he is talented at a young age, soon after slicing his brother in half with a machete, Monty Python style, who telegraphs the tragedy: "Everything's fine when you have such a long life in front of you!"

John C. Reilly LIVES Dewey Cox, performing all his comedic songs himself, which are actually enjoyable and catchy country/rock and roll tunes. We follow him from his big break in a colored club "where people come to dance erotically," to touring with Elvis and Jerry Lee, to immediate radio airplay with his hit Walk Hard ("recorded just 35 minutes ago by Dewey Cox"). Dewey meets The Beatles (Jack Black as Paul, Justin Long as George, Paul Rudd as John), experiments with musical styles from Dylan to Bowie; on through the 70s he hosts a TV show and marries Cheryl Tiegs (playing herself, taking the name Cheryl Cox-Tiegs - yeah, say it out loud).

In the 80s, Dewey succumbs to mind-altering drugs while trying to compose a magnum opus with ethnic orchestras, trampolines, farm animals and fruit. He even takes a leaf from his friend Will Ferrell's book and runs naked through the streets during a freakout.

WALK HARD will be compared to the progenitor of this rocku-mockumentary genre, SPINAL TAP, as WALK-HARD's makers also display actual hands-on, penis-on knowledge of their target.

Writer-director Jake Kasdan and co-writer Judd Apatow ladle out every single vignette that musician biopic screenwriters have grown lazy on - from teens at the dance warming to Dewey's high school band and jiggling in ways that make a priest yell, "devil's music," to the record producer admonishing Dewey then suddenly loving his song (a riotous John Michael Higgins cameo, "...and if somehow you are able to sing a song now with these boys whom you haven't even met… but I'm telling you right now, I don't think it's going to happen... I'll give you 15 seconds"), to the whining wife in curlers (Kristen Wiig) cradling three babies, constantly telling Dewey he'll "never make it" - even whilst he is on the road supporting a number one album. With a penis in his face.

Musicians know these scenes from their own lives, and how Hollywood has compressed them to nut-squeezing idiocy. Kasdan and Apatow display a virtuoso's knowledge of their subject, down to making the instrument-playing look authentic (a pet peeve of all musicians watching musician movies). The script is as taut as a guitar string and sings like a Les Paul plugged through a Marshall stack on 11.

Johnny Cash and Ray Charles would be spinning in their graves - if they were not laughing so hard.

Slap a roadie for me.
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1/10
A Blight on Apatow's near flawless record
Frank Harris26 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I gave Walk Hard a chance, I really did. I love Judd Apatow's work, as producer, writer or director. Knocked Up is one of my favorite comedies and Superbad is up there on the list. Orange County, directed by the director of Cox, was a decent film but wasn't great. But still, it had it's moments and was watchable. Normally, I can base a movies value on the names associated with it and their previous work , in fact that's the main reason I saw this movie. But sadly, it doesn't live up to anything they have been associated with prior (maybe Kicking and Screaming).

To start, I'll list the things that are good about the movie: The directing has a certain quality to it. Considering the director's previous work, I guess that makes sense.

It's not too far from a shot for shot remake of Walk The Line. Which I count as a good thing because that's what your going for in a spoof/parody.

They did a good job with the bio-pic aspect of it, which just means that they can see the humor in the constant ups and downs of a rock star's life.

Some, and I mean SOME, of the lines are good. I did chuckle and the Elvis part.

Now the bad: The first line of the movie is "I need Cox", I a movie were the main character, not just that but the movie, is named Dewey Cox, you can really only use that once. But they do it again and again.

The movie fools you into thinking it's a Jim Abrahams/David Zucker spoof (creators of cult comedies like Airplane!, Hot Shots! Top Secret! and Naked Gun) but becomes a Jason Friedberg/Aaron Seltzer spoof (creator of such Oscar worthy masterpieces as Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2, Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, Date Movie, Epic Movie and the upcoming, and sure to be critical success, Meet The Spartans).

There's a monkey joke, enough said about that.

A poor representation of famous individuals, like Buddy Holly, Elvis, and the Beatles. If Buddy Holly has to tell me that he's Buddy Holly it's a bad movie. Even Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett and Eddie Vedder are caricature of themselves. Basically the movie goes for the, "haha they are people pretending to be these people and they are doing it badly!That's funny!". As I mentioned before, Elvis was the only good one because I could see Elvis doing the "look out man!" thing, but even that gets ruined by a line that follows it that is basically "Only two kinds of people know it(referring to Karate), the Chinese and the King. And I'm the King." We get it you're Elvis Presley.

A monkey joke, it needs repeating, monkey jokes died in middle school.

The pacing of the movie interrupt scenes that could be used for character development and story to give you scenes feigning what could be considered important story points. It completely negates the scene prior. Example, Dewey Cox is in a hotel room living it up after his first taste of weed, he is on the phone with his wife. She begins to tell him that she feels a distance. Now normally, a Knocked Up type comedy would use this moment to bring down the fun for a moment. Use it to give us a real insight into the relationship of the characters, thus creating a more interesting level to any involvement later on. An Airplane type comedy would use this moment to do constant sight gags, or create a fake sense of pain increasing any sort of visual of audible humor later on. But instead it goes a complete different route when there's a knock the door. He hangs up and there is no development of his relationship with his wife or any really funny sight gags or quick quips. Instead we are treated to a story from Dewey's dad about how Dewey's music inadvertently killed his mom. Oh dear, his mom is dead due to his music. How plausible. That's not funny, that's Epic Movie. I shouldn't have expected more from a movie that has a little kid being chopped in half and still talking, with his legs just standing there. The whole thing leaves me confused as to what this movie wants me to find humorous.

I fail to see the humor in this movie, an occasional chuckle and smirk does not make this movie worthy of viewing. It could have been a lot better. Less irony and more funny. Airplane!, Naked Gun, Top Secret!, that's how this movie should have been. An Abrahams/Zucker-type movie making fun of bio-pics done by Apatow and Kasdan, that would be magic. But instead we are treated to a movie that suffers from schizophrenia, it's backed the names behind good comedies like Orange County and Knocked Up, It's titled like a Will Ferrel "Insert title: the story of insert guy's name" movie with none of the humor, it has the premise of an Abrahams/Zucker film, but is written like a Friedberg/Seltzer. The whole comes off as messy and leaving you feeling unfulfilled. Save your money and rent Apatow's back catalog and hope and pray that the train of suck that left Dewey Cox will derail and Apatow will be cool again. I think Kasdan might be lost though.
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1/10
This was among the five WORST movies I have EVER seen
audancerboy11 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was absolutely awful. The movie falls into inanity almost immediately, and just went downhill from there. This movie is crude, and lacks any plot. The acting is flat enough to make daytime TV look as high quality as stage acting. The movie relies on tired, dumb clichés and stupid dialogue to attempt to mock biopic movies. The effort fails, and absolutely miserably. This movie is totally unredeemable, and lacks social value. The site gags are not even able to make the movie amusing. This movie truly does rank among the five worst movies I have ever seen. I recommend either not watching, or if you must, finding some place to run and hide. Do not watch this movie if you value your brain cells. It is not humorous, and it is not satiric. It is not even slapstick.
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7/10
Somewhere between "A Mighty Wind" and "Airplane!"
rooprect9 November 2014
"Walk Hard" is another film from the Judd Apatow gang who brought you such inane gems as "Anchorman", "Talladega Nights", "40-Year-Old Virgin" and so on. In the same vein, you'll get a wacky blend of absurd humor, parody, satire and sexual gags not suitable for young kids. Note: I saw the unrated version which has a few gags featuring, among other things, one or two closeup shots of a man's hangy down thing (haha IMDb won't let me type w.a.n.k.e.r).

The tone of the whole film is very tongue-in-cheek and satirical, with a good zinger at least once every 30 seconds. Perhaps even more fun is spotting all the cameo appearances by famous personalities such as director Harold Ramis (playing "L'Chaim" the Jewish industrialist), Paul Rudd ("John Lennon"), Jack Black ("Paul McCartney"), Jack White from the White Stripes ("Elvis") and Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam (playing himself). Other actors from SNL, The Office and Big Bang Theory add to the star-spotting extravaganza.

The story is mostly a shameless mock-up of Johnny Cash's biopic "Walk the Line" but with scenes parodied from other musical biopics like "Ray" and "La Bamba". A goofily predictable rise to fame of a music star story, this film mercilessly skewers the clichés, with over-the-top melodramatic scenes like the bigwig producer telling Dewey he sucks and will never make it, only to start singing his praises after Dewey strums 2 chords. Other gags are even more silly, like some of the corny visual wordplays in "Airplane!" (for example there's a dramatic scene where he shouts "I can't fight the temptations!" and runs into the hallway where we see ...guess who?... singing their motown hit "My Girl"). From the outset all the way to its conclusion this movie is pure silliness.

If you like 'em that way then have no fear, you won't be let down. However if you're expecting something more along the lines of the more subtle yet equally hilarious Christopher Guest comedies ("Spinal Tap", "A Mighty Wind", "Best in Show"), then you might start to tire of the fast paced, deliberately predictable gags we see here. "Walk Hard" is an enjoyable experience but probably not intended to be a cult classic music comedy like the aforementioned Guest films which spawned an entire genre of sophisticated comedy (if you can consider a film called "A Mighty Wind" to be sophisticated). "Walk Hard" is just pure mindless entertainment, and it delivers. Watch it on days when you just want to shut your brain off and have some fun. I knocked off a few points because the nudity & prolonged sex scenes can get a little distracting from this otherwise silly romp (a 10-second closeup of a man's crankshaft might cross the line of discomfort).
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10/10
'Wrong kid died!'
I'm not gonna bother writing a review because 192 people before me have done it on this page.

All i'm gonna say is I literally had to hold my sides about 4 times in this film. John C really nails it in this movie and shows that he doesn't need Will Ferrell by his side to make an amazing comedy. Personally i found this movie on par with anchorman if not better and i hope to see John C making more movies with him in the driving seat in the near future. A must see and if you have bought it on DVD, buy it again in case something happens to your first copy. A comedy classic!

my Rating

11/10 (If i could)
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7/10
John C. Reilly gets a breakout leading role
Steven22 May 2010
For a long time John C. Reilly has been fairly known for playing side characters and supporting roles in movies such as Boogie Nights. Gangs of New York, and an Oscar nominated performance in Chicago. Then he becomes known for doing comedies such as Talladega Nights. Now John C. Reilly had a chance to have a starring role in Walk Hard. He takes advantage of this role as he shows the funny side of doing an imitation of music biopics such as Walk the Line, Ray, and I'm Not There.

In a weird way, it is interesting to see a comedy version of a music biopic. Anyone who watches should not take this seriously at all. It is like other spoof movies such as Spaceballs, Airplane!, and Blazing Saddles. It also belongs in with other Frat Pack comedies such as Talladega Nights and Superbad. Producer Judd Apatow has been behind many good, fun comedies.
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10/10
Walk hard for a great film
bobzilla198929 January 2010
This is without a doubt one of my favourite comedies. Judd Apatow and Jake Kasden know how to present a good comedy and they do so in this film. Walk Hard has an ample amount of jokes in it but the great mix of stupid laugh out loud moments you would see in any Will Ferrell movie and the ironic, clever or well throughout jokes makes this film so appealing that it will keep your eyes glued to the screen. John C Reily is fantastic in it and shows how much of a versatile actor he is, the music is great and the vast amount of cameos you get to see in the movie are brilliant. Walk Hard does very well by not sticking too closely to the walk the line story, for the majority of the time it has its very own great comic story present.
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10/10
A must-watch comedy
Truong Tung (TOM) Nguyen4 October 2008
If you are looking for a good comedy in recent time, I would strongly recommend Walk Hard. This movie is a musical comedy which just simply tells about the life story of a fictional singer (Dewey Cox) who gains all his fame and fortune, yet simultaneously messes up his life by abusing drugs. The reasons why I keep watching it for so many times: 1. The movie makes fun of everything, the best parts are about Elvis Presley, The Beatles and drugs. However, almost every minute of it is hilarious. All the dialogs are so funny that you can laugh with tears. Here's one of Elvis Presley's quotes: "It's called Karate, man. Only two kinds of people know it, The Chinese and The King. And one of them is me." 2. Good acting from all characters, especially John C. Reilly as Dewey Cox and Jenna Fischer as Darlene Madison. 3. The musical work is quite fine. 4. The movie pretty much reflects accurately 2 things. The first reflection is about all the major changes in terms of culture, art forms and music in the United States through a long period of time. The second impression is how different art forms and music are related to different types of drugs that are used. 5. And finally, it is very American ... it is very theatrical.
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7/10
Wait and see
kdcndw31 January 2008
I just got back from round two with this film. "Walk Hard' the second go around made me laugh, but alas I don't think it is a comedy classic. It is however very funny especially if you know your rock music history and have seen a fair amount of music biopics.

Director Jake Kasdan continues his streak of making films that seem to be made for me, ie The Zero Effect and The T.V. Set (except Orange County which just sucked) Kasdan, bless his soul, isn't interested in making comedies that appeal to a broad audience. I find his movies very refreshing and pretty darn witty. Walk Hard continues the tradition. This time however, he does have Judd Apatow helping out. So "Walk Hard" is rife with all sorts of lowbrow humour as well. All of it is pretty funny. The film has lulls, but in this day and age of lazy spoofs like "Scary Movie" I can forgive them.

John C. Reilly nails this performance. He plays the movie silly (it is a very silly movie) yet his character still feels pretty genuine.

That genuine aspect probably makes the movie work for me. The songs are good. Kasdan and Apatow obviously have a love for the material. It's good that contemporary film makers are taking cues from Brooks and the Zucker brothers and showing a lot of love for the material while spoofing it. Something that other spoof movies fail at miserably.

So all in all...if you are a fan of all sorts of music.. Beatles to Beach Boys to Punk Rock...you just gotta see this movie

For everyone else...still pretty darn funny end kdc
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1/10
You have got to be kidding me
wkbdtrav1 June 2008
I loved Talladega Nights and was really looking forward to Walk Hard. I was extremely disappointed. This movie is slow, the jokes are stupid and the acting is terrible even for a comedy. I don't know if it was the lack of Will Ferrel or what. Despite having several cameos, and even some fairly funny people in major roles, this flick was a total flop. I don't like beating a dead horse, but I have to write ten lines about this pile of garbage. The only reason I sat through the whole thing was a vain hope that it was just a slow starter and laughs were around the corner. Its not even low-brow slapstick funny, Health Inspector was a better movie than this.
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1/10
Terrible!
cdlfeldman8 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was terrible! Judd, dude! You use the same bits in EVERY movie! Write some better stuff! Damn, this was terrible!

Riley's character destroys numerous sinks throughout the movie. Why? For no reason whatsoever. Apatow had one or two hits with such physical comedy, but that very short era has ended. Similar to Will Ferrel's role in Talladega Nights, Riley's character runs around naked and screaming. Terrible. Not funny.

Way too much gratuitous nudity and vulgarity. Don't get me wrong, I love vulgarity. But in this case, none of it fit. There are a few points in the movie when we see penises for no reason. Absolutely no reason. Terrible.

I can't even put into words adequately how terrible this film was. DON'T RENT IT OR BUY IT! It was terrible!
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