For all the innuendo in this musical biopic parody, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is really flaccid. I haven’t heard such an intense silence from an audience while watching a film since Schindler’s List. I admit when I first walked into the film I wanted to laugh and it took me a few moments of uncertain chuckling to realize that the film really wasn’t funny, after that I genuinely laughed twice.
Walk Hard tells the story of Dewey Cox who as a young boy is forced to live out the mock lives of Ray Charles and Johnny Cash, flipping back and forth depending on whenever the writers Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan want to make fun of Ray or Walk the Line. Instead of letting the essence of the musical biopic inspire Apatow and Kasdan they follow said stories so closely the movie itself doesn’t have any legs to stand on of its own. Even though it’s meant to mock these films, we know what’s going to happen to Dewey from scene one and the creators don’t have the fore site to deal with the subject of musical biopics in a creative way. So even the bits that could have worked are mired in the fact that Walk the Line was a pretty good movie and that Ray wasn’t bad either, and we already know the stories. We’re actually subjected to a scene straight out of Walk when Cox plays for the first time a song that he’s written, the joke being in the film that it hits the charts and causes a stir within moments of it’s recording. It sounds funny, right? But somehow it’s not. How would you like to watch a remake of Walk with Jake Gyllenhaal, or Psycho but with Vince Vaughn…? Here it’s John C. Reilly being asked to act out scenes that have already been acted out by other actors. It’s not creative nor inventive in the way it approaches its material. It lacks spirit and an interest in truly skewering the films that really deserve it. It’s a lazy comedy, repeating many of the jokes over and over again.