The third film today from the “Leaving HBO Max” queue I am using for the DailyView is found somewhere in between the other two. It is certainly better than The Avengers, but not anywhere near the levels of Hot Fuzz. It is another comedy, this time starring John C. Reilly, called Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.
I was hating this at first because it was so ridiculous, but then I realized that the purpose of the movie was to be ridiculous. Walk Hard was a parody/spoof of biopics, in particular, rock-n-roll biopics of classic musicians. Once I realized that the ridiculous was intended, it made it easier to take. There are still plenty of stupid moments where the comedy does not work, but those are easier to dismiss.
After a tragic accident as a youth, Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) discovered music and used it as an escape from the pains of his life. He got married young, had multiple children, recorded a classic hit song- Walk Hard- and discovered the world of drugs.
The way Reilly plays Dewey Cox (as well as the movie’s title) shows one of the big musicians Walk Hard is using as an influence is Johnny Cash, although you can see other influences in the narrative of Dewey Cox.
The best part of the film is the music. There are several excellent songs with really funny lyrics that fit right in with the life being lived by the titular star. Along with the title song, some great songs such as Take My Hand, Let’s Duet, Guilty as Charged, and Beautiful Ride are songs that are entertaining on their own, as well as advance the story of the film.
John C. Reilly is very good here, playing Dewey Cox. He brings an innocence to the character that shouldn’t be there with the life that he has lived. Reilly saves most of the scenes where things go too off-the-rail with his ability to react and respond to the events. His singing is very solid too.
Walk Hard has good moments mixed in with some truly terrible ones. They push the jokes several times, some times stepping over the line. It is a funny film with a great protagonist. Once you realize that this is a spoof, it is easier to accept what is happening.