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Wildly homophobic

Wildly homophobic


In Disney's new mainstream comedy WildHogs, four middle aged men dress as leather daddies and prove once again that fear of gay men still is still not funny.

Pity the poor straight male! What is one to do when every last bastion of traditional masculinity has been co-opted by the gays? You can't have a butch name anymore without sounding like a gay porn star. You can't bulk up your body without lookinglike a gay porn star. And wrestling? Only if you are a gay porn star, dude. Why, it's enough to make you don a leather jacket, hop on a motorcycle, and go on a trip with a bunch of other leather daddies in an attempt to assert your manliness. Nothing gay about that. No siree, Bob...

Oh, wait.

And that's pretty much the gist of all the comedy in Wild Hogs,a new film undoubtedly pitched as "City Slickers,but like, not as gay." The titular hogs include Doug (Tim Allen), a dentist who feels uncool, Dudley (William H. Macy), a computer programmer whoisuncool, Bobby (Martin Lawrence), who's married to an Angry Black Woman, and Woody, who is John Travolta. Together, these beleaguered straight men decide to mount their bikes, hit the open road, and escape the crippling shackles of a society designed to oppress them. Or a society determined to look at their homosocial bonding as totally gay-- whatevs.

Along the way they meet a lot more queers than you'd usually find in a mainstream Disney comedy--pity that they're there only to demonstrate how gay our heroes aren't. There's the gay cop played byScrubs'John C. McGinley (oh, no, cops are gay now too), the fey singer in cowboy drag, the menacing biker whose ambiguous come-ons are rewarded with a punch... The trouble is, I could go on and on. Virtually every set piece revolves around an icky gay guy or the threat that these Wild Hogs might be perceived as queer, not just because they like to go skinny-dipping together but because their suburban lifestyles have turned them into effeminate, emasculated wimps. After all, a real man wouldn't drink a mocha latte, would he?

Susan Faludi might have a great time breaking down Wild Hogs,but for the rest of us, there's no escape from the film's bludgeoning homophobia. Don't get me wrong: It's a bad movie in any case. Example: William H. Macy recovers from a bike spill with the laugh line "I hit my butt!" The pervading antigay sentiment is just the rancid cherry on top.Wild Hogsends with the threat of a sequel, and I hope that by the time they make it the filmmakers will have learned what the rest of the country is catching on to: Homophobia? Is totally gay, dude.

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Kyle Buchanan