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"WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY"
(2007) (John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Heavy Heavy Minor Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None Heavy Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Mild Heavy Heavy Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A singer must face his various demons as he becomes a big star in the music business while contending with his past as well as the distractions of women and drugs in this spoof of musician-based biopics.
PLOT:
It's the 1940s and 8-year-old Dewey Cox (CONNER RAYBURN) lives in the shadow of his musically talented brother, Nate (CHIP HORMESS). While in a mock duel with him, Dewey accidentally cuts his brother in half, thus crushing their parents, Pa (RAYMOND J. BARRY) and Ma (MARGO MARTINDALE), with the former repeatedly telling Dewey from that point on that the wrong son died.

Years later and hoping to fill his late brother's shoes, 14-year-old Dewey (JOHN C. REILLY) is an aspiring singer-songwriter who wows the audience, including 12-year-old Edith (KIRSTEN WIIG), at a talent show. While that gets him kicked out from home due to playing "the devil's music," Dewey shoots to fame playing his song "Walk Hard" while accompanied by drummer Sam (TIM MEADOWS), guitarist Dave (MATT BESSER), and bass player Theo (CHRIS PARNELL).

Fame and fortune, however, soon lead Dewey astray, particularly from his now wife Edith and their growing number of kids back home. First, there are the drugs provided by Sam and others that get Dewey hooked on them. And then there's pretty backup singer Darlene Madison (JENNA FISCHER) who quickly wins his heart.

From that point on, and as the decades pass by and musical styles change, Dewey must contend with the effect those various personal demons, as well as the haunting memory of having accidentally killed his brother in the past, have on him and his career.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's a good bet many teens (and some older preteen boys) will be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOHN C. REILLY plays a singer-songwriter still tormented by his accidental killing of his brother long ago. Despite being married with kids, he fools around with other women and even marries Darlene. He uses strong profanity, drinks, and does various drugs.
  • JENNA FISCHER plays his backup singer who sexually comes on to him, but then says they can't do anything until they're married.
  • TIM MEADOWS plays Dewey's drummer who uses some profanity, participates in group sex, and introduces the singer to various drugs.
  • KIRSTEN WIIG plays Dewey's teenage wife who grows tired of staying at home and raising their kids while he's out gallivanting around the country, playing his music. She uses some profanity.
  • RAYMOND J. BARRY plays Dewey's father who's never forgiven him for accidentally killing his brother in the past. He repeatedly reminds Dewey that the wrong son died.
  • MARGO MARTINDALE plays his wife who mourns the death of one son, but is happy about Dewey's success.
  • CHRIS PARNELL and MATT BESSER play other members of Dewey's band.
  • CONNER RAYBURN plays Dewey as a boy who accidentally kills his brother.
  • CHIP HORMESS plays his brother in flashback and then as a ghost who visits his brother, telling him to get his act together.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity consists of at least 19 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue and song lyrics are present, as are various sexual encounters (including a group sex one) with movement and nudity, and other sexual behavior (such as "dirty dancing"). In addition to that, fully nude women and men are seen walking around a room (with a man's genitals prominently framed in the camera shot), while other partial nudity also occurs.

    Comedy based violence includes two people accidentally being cut in half with machetes (with comedy style bloody and gory results), while there's some fighting, property damage, and a brief comedy bit showing a person being riddled with gunfire. There's comedy-based tense family material, which also holds true for all sorts of drug use (leading to people being high, and then going through withdrawal in rehab), while drinking and smoking are also present.

    Some behavior may be enticing for some kids to imitate, various bad attitudes are present, while some crude humor also occurs. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some bouncy, handheld camerawork in a few scenes, while the camera shot goes up and down, following Dewey on a trampoline in one scene.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People drink at a club.
  • Dewey walks in on Sam and others smoking pot. Dewey is oblivious to what they're doing. Sam says they're smoking reefer and that Dewey wants no part of that, but Dewey says he wants to try it, and thus a woman suggestively blows pot smoke into his mouth.
  • Dewey catches Sam and others doing coke, and thus wants to try some (despite Sam telling him that he -- Dewey -- doesn't want any part of that). We then see Dewey under the influence of that drug.
  • Dewey finds Sam and others doing "uppers and downers," and Dewey says he wants some of that.
  • We see several views of Dewey collapsing on stage (in a montage, presumably from drug use).
  • Dewey has beer.
  • Dewey is busted for buying drugs.
  • Dewey goes through withdrawal in rehab.
  • Sam and a young woman smoke pot and ask Dewey if he minds if they get stoned there.
  • Dewey and his band spend time with the Beatles in India, where Ringo suggests they do LSD and someone says, "Let's go drop acid with The Beatles." We then see an animated cartoon version of their drug trip, with someone saying it's "Totally trippy."
  • As his band members complain about what Dewey did to them, Sam keeps repeating that Dewey never paid for any of the drugs.
  • Darlene and Dewey's marriage is strained over his drug use. He then promises he'll stop, but then pops a PCP pill.
  • Darlene gets champagne out of the fridge.
  • We see various bottles scattered about Dewey's place.
  • At various points in the film, there are various comments about Dewey's drug use, such as him talking of when he learned Quaaludes and skiing don't mix.
  • Old Dewey brings old Sam a large bag of marijuana.
  • Dewey and others have beer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Young Dewey and his brother playfully spar with sheathed machetes, but the cover accidentally comes off Dewey's. He then swings it at Nate and reacts in horror. We don't see the impact, but then do see Nate's torso on the ground next to his severed lower body that's still standing (he's still alive, for the moment). This is played for comedy, but we do see a little blood around the top cut mark on the lower body, as well as some on the machete blade.
  • A miscellaneous student vomits.
  • A cartoon version of a person is cut in half with a machete, and we see cartoon intestines.
  • Dewey's dad accidentally cuts himself in half with a machete (with blood, bone and such visible on the top edge of his lower body).
  • Dewy holds some horse droppings, happy that he can finally smell (with Darlene telling him, "Smell that sh*t, baby").
  • A flashback shows Dewey's band member being riddled with gunfire (there's some blood on his clothes), while Dewey holds a gun behind him (he isn't the shooter).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • After a priest calls Dewey's high school act an abomination, a student punches that man in the face, followed by a comedy style melee among various people.
  • Dewey's father repeatedly tells him that the wrong son died (regarding Dewey accidentally cutting his brother in half when both were kids).
  • Some viewers might be offended by various comedy stereotypes, such as Hasidic Jews being music producers (and having Jewish phrases as their names, etc.).
  • We see Dewey in bed with another woman (thus he's cheating on his wife). He cheats in other scenes as well.
  • Dewey marries Darlene despite still being married to Edith (Darlene is unaware of this until Edith walks in on them on their honeymoon). Darlene then moves out, taking the kids (although Dewey didn't want them anyway).
  • Dewey tells one of his band members they should switch women, and Dewey then walks off with the other (while Darlene and the band mate don't look happy about what's occurred).
  • Paul McCartney and John Lennon have bad attitudes toward each other, with the two then getting into a fight (played for comedy).
  • A band member complains that Dewey slept with his wife, while the other (a man) says that Dewey slept with him as well, and now has confused feelings about that.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling for younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material, but it's all played for comedy.
  • Dewey's old manager has a heart attack in the audience, and we then see his ghost join the ghosts of Dewey's family backstage (played for comedy, but for anyone who's recently had some involvement with one, the scene might be an uncomfortable reminder).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Dewey accidentally cuts his brother in half with a machete, while his father accidentally cuts himself in half with one.
  • We hear what sounds like a gunshot when Dewey is busted for buying drugs.
  • We see a flashback to Elvis with a switchblade.
  • In a flashback, Dewey's dad holds a gun on him.
  • A flashback shows Dewey's band member being riddled with gunfire (there's some blood on his clothes), while Dewey holds a gun behind him (he isn't the shooter).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck /was he talking about/is this bullsh*t?" "F*ck you," "Why don't you shut the f*ck up?" "Oh, f*ck me" (nonsexual), "F*ck nobility," "F*ck cats," "I was f*cking awesome," "I f*cked up," "You must want to blow your f*cking brains out," "He f*cked my grandma," "Holy sh*t," "You stupid piece of sh*t," "You don't want no part of this sh*t," "I want some of that sh*t," "You need to get your sh*t together," "I smell horseh*t," "Smell that sh*t, baby," "I need Cox," "You c*cks*cker," "You don't want this dirty old Cox," "Cox and little nut sack," "Boner," "Balls" (testicles), "Paul's a big, fat c*nt," "Have you tried to masturbate with a ghost hand?" "I challenge you to a duel, sir," "I'm halved," "The wrong kid died (G*ddamnit)," "You gone smell-blind, son," "Ladies and germs," "You're going to Hell," "I'm gonna walk hard," "What the hell /is this/is this song about?" "Can you shut up?" "I don't give a damn," "Do you mind if we get stoned in here?" "Midgets," "Freaking," "Jam it up your ass," "Let's go drop acid with The Beatles," "Totally trippy," "You keep whining like a little bitch" and "We're getting our ass kicked."
  • Young Dewey and his brother go off to play, and we see a montage of that, including running from a bull, Nate picking up and throwing a rattlesnake toward Dewey, the two playing chicken by riding a horse and tractor toward each other, etc.). That's followed by them sparring with sheathed machetes.
  • At Dewey's high school talent show performance, some female students pull up or open their tops to flash him, albeit in 1950s era type bras and bustiers, etc. (so nothing explicit is seen).
  • We see various couples doing sexy and sexualized dancing in a late 1950s or 1960s club, including mock rear entry sex, a man rhythmically pulling a woman's head toward his clothed crotch, a man's face down by a woman's covered crotch, etc.
  • Dewey pulls a sink from a wall in frustration (this occurs several times in subsequent scenes).
  • Darlene wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • A cartoon version of a person gives "the finger."
  • Dewey breaks another sink and other objects and bends silverware, while he also saws a sofa in half.
  • Some miscellaneous young women have various multiple piercings.
  • A miscellaneous person has various tattoos.
  • Dewey's ghost brother gives him "the finger."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Dewey and Darlene sing a song called, "Let's duet" (that sounds like "Let's Do it") that's filled with pregnant pauses to create more double entendres and innuendo. That includes him singing, "You're blowing me...some kisses," and her replying, "That's one of my favorite things to do." He then sings, "You and I could go down...in history." That's followed by the chorus, "Let's duet, in ways that make us feel good." He then sings, "I'm gonna beat off...all my demons." He then sings about sneaking up on her, with her suggestively replying in song, "You can always come in my backdoor."
  • A song has a lyric about smoking and drinking, as well as the line, "I don't give a damn."
  • Although it's in support of little people, some viewers might find Dewey's song about "midgets" as being in poor taste.
  • A rap video does a riff on Dewey's old "Walk Hard" song. There are suggestive lyrics (about double-d's, what's in the front of the singer's pants, etc.), and a woman saying she's so wet that he makes her (with the word "hard" then interjected from the old song).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 19 "f" words (1 used sexually), 16 "s" words, 2 slang terms using female genitals ("c*nt"), 1 using male genitals ("c*cks*cker"), 4 asses (1 used with "hole"), 4 hells, 2 damns, 1 crap, 3 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Good Lord" and "My God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • There are a few verbal plays on Dewey's last name, such as a stage manager, while looking for the performer, who shouts out, "I need Cox" while there's a later comment about Dewey's dance crew being called the "Swinging Cox Dancers." Later, and reunited after time apart, Dewey tells Darlene, "You don't want this dirty old Cox," with her saying she wants it more than ever.
  • At Dewey's high school talent show performance, some female students pull up or open their tops to flash him, albeit in 1950s era type bras and bustiers, etc. (so nothing explicit is seen).
  • We see various couples doing sexy and sexualized dancing in a late 1950s or 1960s club, including mock rear entry sex, a man rhythmically pulling a woman's head toward his clothed crotch, a man's face down by a woman's covered crotch, etc. The manager there complains to Dewey (the custodian) that the customers come there to dance erotically and need a clean floor upon which to do that. We see more such dancing on a later night, and that erotic dancing comment is made again.
  • We see a photo of a shirtless man.
  • We see some miscellaneous cleavage.
  • Dewey walks in on Sam and others smoking pot, and two people making out. Dewey is oblivious to what they're doing. Sam says they're smoking reefer and that Dewey wants no part of that, and Dewey wonders if it's going to make him want to have sex, and Sam says it will make sex better. Dewey then says he wants to try it, and thus a woman suggestively blows pot smoke into his mouth. We next see Dewey in bed, calling his wife on the phone, but we then see he has a woman (in a bra) in bed with him. We then see brief and partial views of Sam on the floor with two women, telling Dewey to "shut up" as he's trying to have sex with them. Dewey then gets up (in just his briefs), and we see both female and male full frontal and rear nudity of others in the same room. Some are by themselves (seated or standing) while others are cavorting (but no actual sex), and we then see a man stand near Dewey (who's seated on the floor), and the man's penis is right there by his head (but the positioning is not intended as a sexual come-on to him).
  • Darlene suggests herself as Dewey's backup singer, adding, "If you'd like to give me a try" (double entendre). Dewey says he's reckons he might. He then asks if she's ready, and she says she's always ready. The two then sing a song called, "Let's duet" (that sounds like "Let's Do it") that's filled with pregnant pauses to create more double entendres and innuendo. That includes him singing, "You're blowing me...some kisses," and her replying, "That's one of my favorite things to do." He then sings, "You and I could go down...in history." That's followed by the chorus, "Let's duet, in ways that make us feel good." He then sings, "I'm gonna beat off...all my demons." We then see a montage of them together, with him flicking his tongue on his ice cream cone as if simulating male to female oral sex, followed by suggestive sawing, hammering, and sanding (with the latter imitating hand stimulation of a penis), and then views of them on separate horses, with the close-up shot of him making it look like he's having sex with an unseen woman). He then sings about sneaking up on her, with her suggestively replying in song, "You can always come in my backdoor."
  • Darlene kisses Dewey but then repeatedly slaps him, saying she's not that kind of woman, and that they can only be friends. She then leans in to kiss him again, but then slaps him again.
  • Darlene shows cleavage.
  • We see Darlene on top of Dewey in a bunk (both clothed), but she then says they can't continue. However, she then comments on sometimes aching for a man's touch, adding, "And by that I mean a penis in my vagina."
  • Now married, Darlene says she's ready for sex. We see her in a teddy on the bed and he's standing in an open robe and his briefs as he approaches her, briefly stopping to snort and move his foot like a bull. He then drops his briefs (away from the camera, so we don't see any nudity), says he's going to show her the ways of love, and then pulls her feet up along his face, thus dragging her pelvis closer to him as he still stands (there's no nudity). Nothing else happens, however, as Edith walks in on them and Darlene learns that Dewey is still married to her (Edith). Dewey does comment on a dream where one of them "was licking my balls."
  • Dewey complains to his chimp that all the latter likes is fruit and "touching yourself."
  • We see a woman having sex on top of Dewey (movement, bare back and breasts), but his mind is elsewhere, with him then saying he forgot she was there.
  • Dewey tells one of his band members they should switch women, and Dewey then walks off with the other.
  • We see a close-up view of sex (a torso shot).
  • Doing some rough sexual play, Dewey pushes Darlene to a wall, followed by her pushing him back and then repeatedly kneeing him in the crotch (both are clothed). The two then simultaneously choke each other, followed by him showing his six-pack abs (although the joke is they're obviously not his).
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • We see some shirtless male aborigines.
  • A band member complains that Dewey slept with his wife, while the other (a man) says that Dewey slept with him as well, and now has confused feelings about that.
  • Darlene shows some cleavage.
  • After taking PCP, we see Dewey causing havoc on a city street in what looks like Sumo shorts (with views of his bare butt cheeks and a pouch up front in that).
  • Dewey is visited by his dead brother's ghost who complains that he can't even masturbate, asking Dewey if he's ever tried doing that with a ghost hand.
  • We see Dewey in bed with three scantly clad women.
  • Rehearsing for a caveman skit on his TV show, Dewey delivers some innuendo, asking "What do I have to do to get you on my bone? Light a fire."
  • We see Dewey in just his boxers.
  • A rap video does a riff on Dewey's old "Walk Hard" song. There are suggestive lyrics (about double-d's, what's in the front of the singer's pants, etc.), and a woman saying she's so wet that he makes her (with the word "hard" then interjected from the old song). There's then a comment about "Cox and Little Nut-sack" (the latter being the rapper). During the video, there's suggestive dancing and other behavior, such as the male singer putting his hands on a woman's clothed breasts.
  • Old Dewey brings old Sam a large bag of marijuana.
  • Two young women fawn over old Dewey, with one stating, "He f*cked my grandma."
  • Dewey finds Sam taking more drugs, but this time it's erectile dysfunction medication. Sam says, "It gives you a boner," and then adds that if a "boner" last more than four hours, one should call more ladies.
  • We see a flashback to a female reporter doing some mock sexual movement (simulated bucking) while perched on Dewey's knees as he's seated (both are fully clothed).
  • We see a flashback to the above view where a man's penis is near Dewey's head (the former is standing, the latter is seated, but this isn't a sexual situation between the two men).
  • SMOKING
  • Sam smokes at least once, while a number of people smoke in various scenes (including with a cigar).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Young Dewey's parents adversely react to news that he killed his brother by cutting him in half with a machete, albeit by accident. His dad then states, "The wrong kid died" and that statement or variations thereof are then repeated through the film.
  • 14-year-old Dewey moves out from home after his father voices his displeasure in him and his music.
  • Dewey and Edith have a tense relationship, with her taking care of the kids and being upset about him not being around, and wanting her dreams fulfilled, etc.
  • Edith complains that she never sees Dewey anymore (played for comedy).
  • We see a flashback to Dewey's mom and dad dancing to his music when his mom accidentally falls out the window. She lands hard on the ground, with the radio then falling and hitting her on the head, apparently killing her (played as comedy). In the present day, his dad tells Dewey that he (Dewey) killed her.
  • Dewey marries Darlene despite still being married to Edith (Darlene is unaware of this until Edith walks in on them on their honeymoon). Darlene then moves out, taking the kids (although Dewey didn't want them anyway).
  • Darlene and Dewey's marriage is strained over his drug use. He then promises he'll stop, but then pops a PCP pill.
  • Dewey is visited by his dead brother's ghost (not played to be scary).
  • We hear that Dewey and Darlene are separated.
  • Dewey goes to apologize to his father, but his dad then starts a machete fight with him. During this, his dad head-butts him, but then accidentally cuts himself in half with the blade. His dad then dies, thus frustrating Dewey for lack of closure.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The common trajectory of the careers and lives of popular musicians.
  • Drug use and rehab.
  • Affairs.
  • We hear that Dewey has 30+ kids.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Young Dewey and his brother playfully spar with sheathed machetes, but the cover accidentally comes off Dewey's. He then swings it at Nate and reacts in horror. We don't see the impact, but then do see Nate's torso on the ground next to his severed lower body that's still standing (he's still alive, for the moment). This is played for comedy, but we do see a little blood around the top cut mark on the lower body, as well as some on the machete blade.
  • After a priest calls Dewey's high school act an abomination, a student punches that man in the face, followed by a comedy style melee among various people.
  • We see a flashback to Dewey's mom and dad dancing to his music when his mom accidentally falls out the window. She lands hard on the ground, with the radio then falling and hitting her on the head, apparently killing her (played as comedy).
  • Darlene kisses Dewey but then repeatedly slaps him, saying she's not that kind of woman, and that they can only be friends. She then leans in to kiss him again, but then slaps him again.
  • Dewey pulls a sink from a wall in frustration.
  • Doing some rough sexual play, Dewey pushes Darlene to a wall, followed by her pushing him back and then repeatedly kneeing him in the crotch (both are clothed). The two then simultaneously choke each other.
  • Paul McCartney and John Lennon have bad attitudes toward each other, with the two then getting into a fight (played for comedy).
  • A cartoon version of a person is cut in half with a machete, and we see cartoon intestines.
  • Dewey pulls another sink from the wall and throws it to the floor where it shatters.
  • After taking PCP, we see Dewey causing havoc on a city street, overturning a car, throwing something else, and pushing two cops aside.
  • We see Dewey in a bathtub (no explicit nudity) where he's shocked (as part of his drug rehab -- played for comedy).
  • Dewey smashes a guitar and overturns a piano.
  • Dewey goes to apologize to his father, but his dad then starts a machete fight with him. During this, his dad head-butts him, but then accidentally cuts himself in half with the blade. We don't see the impact, but do see his torso on the ground, while his lower body still stands next to him (with blood, bone and such visible on the top edge of his lower body). His dad then dies, thus frustrating Dewey for lack of closure.
  • Dewey breaks another sink and other objects and bends silverware, while he also saws a sofa in half.
  • One of Dewey's former band mates punches him (both are now old).
  • A flashback shows Dewey's band member being riddled with gunfire (there's some blood on his clothes), while Dewey holds a gun behind him (he isn't the shooter).



  • Reviewed December 10, 2007 / Posted December 21, 2007

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