The newest film out of the Apatow camp is by far the weakest, but still has some good laughs and an enjoyable turn by John C. Reilly as Dewey Cox.
As a spoof movie, it is a fun romp, and has to be a million times better than the likes of Epic Movie or that recent string of horrible looking crap. Though, the movie doesn’t work the whole time and drags for much longer than it should in the middle which ultimately leaves a stale taste in your mouth when it is all said and done.
John C. Reilly as Dewey Cox is a joy to watch throughout at the sheer ridiculous of his character and he hams it up and plays the absurdity to a T. Unfortunately the absurdity isn’t very interesting sometimes and unfortunately not as funny as it thinks it is on a number of occasions. A perfect example is the Beatles scene which should have been gold with the actors involved but falls far short of your lofty expectations.
The supporting characters don’t have much to do either with Jena Fischer acting being almost down right bad at a couple of points. Tim Meadows, Chris Parnell, and Matt Besser are all one trick ponies as the band behind Cox, with Meadows having one of the better repetitive gags in the film. David Krumholtz is solid as the manager and is spoofing himself from Ray; and he does it well. The cameos are also weak with Jack White as Elvis and Frankie Muniz as Buddy Holly as the only notable mentions, outside The Beatles scene, and they’re barely worth noting.
The movie works best in the early goings when it’s blatantly making fun of the themes of the musical biopic and doesn’t try to hide it at all, but once Dewey Cox becomes a star the jokes become fairly hit or miss, outside a great Dylan parody sequence, until the last reel or so of the movie.
It should be noted that the songs are good fun though, with some funny lyrics and tunes that aren’t all that bad either, and Reilly is more than capable of handling the singing duties. The songs are usually the highlights of the film and when the film is dragging there aren’t any new songs; and this of course happens during Dewey’s “song block.”
In the end, Walk Hard is moderate to mostly entertaining fair that is best served as a rental, but it’s good to see John C. Reilly get the spotlight as he is one of the most unappreciated actors working today.