Australian Council on Children and the Media

Wild Hogs

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Not recommended under 13 years, PG to 15 (Themes, Sex, Viol, Lang,).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Wild Hogs
  • a review of Wild Hogs completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 8 March 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended.
Children over the age of 13 Parental guidance recommended 13 to 15 years due to sexual references and situations, crude humour, adult themes, coarse language and violence.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Wild Hogs
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Moderate violence
Length 99 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Wild Hogs are a group of four middle-aged men who ride around on Harley Davidson motorcycles at weekends pretending to be a biker gang. Woody (John Travolta), Doug (Tom Allen), Bobby (Martin Lawrence), and Dudley (William H. Macy) are all facing mid life crises to varying degrees and, bored with their predictable suburban lifestyles, decide to embark on a cross-country road trip.
While travelling cross-country the four friends find themselves in one misadventure after another. On their first night out they manage to burn their tent to the ground and are propositioned by a gay highway patrolman. The situation goes from bad to worse when the Wild Hogs have an altercation with a real motorcycle gang the Del Fuegos led by a hard-core biker named Jack (Ray Liotta). Jack bullies the Wild Hogs and relieves an unwilling Dudley of his Harley Sportster. Woody steals back the bike, but in the process blows up the Del Fuegos’ clubhouse.
On the run from the Del Fuegos, the Wild Hogs take refuge in a quiet New Mexico town where they are befriended by the town’s inhabitants and Dudley falls in love with Maggie (Marisa Tomei) the owner of the town’s diner. Soon Jack and the Del Fuegos arrive and the inevitable showdown occurs.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Midlife crisis; Motorcycle gangs; Homosexuality

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Most of the violence depicted throughout Wild Hogs is slapstick but some is more brutal. Violence included:

  • In several scenes men crash motor cycles, but manage to walk away from the crash with little or no injury.
  • A man throws his mobile phone away and it hits the windscreen of a moving truck.
  • A man inadvertently throws fuel onto a burning tent.
  • Four men on motorcycles get hit in the face by flying bugs; one gets hit in the face by a crow.
  • A biker slaps another biker on the head.
  • A biker punches another biker in the face, knocking him down.
  • A biker slams a bottle of beer down on a table in an aggressive manner.
  • A biker tells another man “Those arseholes got ball, I’m gunna put them in my mouth and chew on them.”
  • Several bikers use verbal threats against other men.
  • A man sabotages several motorcycles by cutting their fuel lines.
  • A biker drops a cigarette into a puddle of petrol resulting in a fire and a building exploding into a ball of flames.      
  • Four men play a game of “Slap the Bull.” One man approaches the bull and slaps it on its rump. The bull chases several of the men head-butting them and tossing them several feet into the air. All of the men thrown by the bull manage to walk away without any injuries.
  • A biker pours a glass of beer over another man’s head.
  • One man throws beer over two bikers, squirts mustard and sauce over their heads, and hits one of the bikers in the groin causing him to fall to the ground.
  • A man is hit in the groin with a stray baseball.
  • A biker throws a chair through the window of a diner.
  • A group of bikers hold Dudley hostage, stating that they will break both his legs with a tire lever if their demands are not met. The bikers then bind Dudley with duct tape and hang him from a tree.
  • A biker threatens to burn down a diner.
  • A fight between the Wild Hogs and the Del Fuegos gang involves numerous punches to the face, head and stomach, kicks to the face, head, stomach and groin, one man bashing another man across the head with a fry pan, men being hurled through wooden rails, a man being held by several men while being punched. Following the fight all walk away with little more than a few cuts and mild bruises.
  • Three men ride their motorcycle into a surfboard and are knocked to the ground.     

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children in this age group, including the following:

  • Younger children may find the physical appearance of some of the members of the Del Fuegos motorcycle gang threatening and intimidating.
  • A policeman has a badly disfigured ear, the result of his ear being shot off. Preschool children may find the appearance of the disfigured ear disturbing.
  • A man has a mild breakdown and panic attack, eating slabs of butter, drinking gravy from a jug and ending up in hospital.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Apart from the violence discussed above, the film contains no scenes or images likely to scare or disturb this age group.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Apart from the violence discussed above, the film contains no scenes or images likely to scare or disturb this age group.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Apart from the violence discussed above, the film contains no scenes or images likely to scare or disturb this age group.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Harley Davidson motorcycles were displayed throughout film, along with leather-clad bikers portrayed as “cool.”

Sexual references

Wild Hogs contained frequent explicit and implicit sexual references (both heterosexual and homosexual) including:

  • A woman is referred to as an “Eskimo Hooker.”
  • A man using his laptop to search the Internet accidentally downloads an alternative sex website. There are quick images of a grandmother (clothed) coupled with sound messages telling the viewer that “Granny is going to spank your bottom”. There are also various animal noises coming from the computer.
  • A man tells another man that they could hold a business meeting while in a spa, “We could do a day at the spa that was fun”, the comment having gay connotations.
  • In relation to a man’s wife another asks, “What has your wife ever made us?” and the response from a second man is “hot.”
  • A man states that he “had to wear condoms on his shoes.”
  • A gay policeman stumbles across a four men sleeping together on the ground while camping out, and overhears one of the men saying, “My arse is sore…riding something that big for so long…I’ve got a sore jaw from three hours of blowing.” The gay policeman takes the comments out of context and, believing the four men to be gay, asks if he can join in the activities stating that he is jealous.
  • In one scene, four men are depicted bathing naked in a creek pool, one of the men states, “I don’t want the whole size thing to ruin our relationship.” During the same scene, a gay policeman stands naked on the edge of the water hole and before diving in states, “Like whata you see?…Let’s get involved.”
  • When four men are surrounded by a group of bikers one of them asks, “Does anyone have that pre-rape feeling?” One of the bikers replies “I do.” 
  • A biker states, “Those arseholes have got balls, I’m gunna put them in my mouth and chew on them.”
  • While talking to Maggie about her home made chilli a man states, “I like your kind of hot…that’s the kind of hot I want to kiss.”
  • At a small town chilli festival, a singer sings numerous songs with sexual connotations, for example “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?”
  • While looking at a bull a man stated “look at the nuts on that thing.”
  • Woody tries to teach Dudley how to dance. The front of their bodies touch each and Woody quickly moves away with an apprehensive look on his face. Dudley states, “It was just a pocket knife.”
  • At one point Doug tells his friends that he wants to phone his wife to “remind her just what type of stud she married.” During the phone call Doug’s wife says, “Doug you don’t know just how turned on I am.”           

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A man while riding on the back of his male friend’s motorcycle sniffs this friend’s neck (checking the type of cologne his friend was wearing). When the two men hoped off the bike the driver states “If you ever lay your head on my back bitch…”
  • Young women in a car wave and blow kisses in a flirtatious manner to the four middle age men riding motorcycles.
  • When the four men swim nude in a creek we see one man’s naked back, buttocks and legs. During the same scene a nude male police officer is depicted standing on the side of the pool with a bare chest. He dives into the water and asks then other men if they want to play “Chicken fights”, or “Marco Polo.”
  • A gay policeman finds four men sleeping together on the ground and he makes sexual advances towards the men, believing them to be gay.
  • In a couple of scenes a man and women kiss each other passionately on the mouth
  • One scene contains images of women wearing sensuous swimwear, revealing cleavage, midriff, and part of their buttocks.  

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • A couple of scenes show men drinking beer from bottles and glasses.
  • A man grabs a jug of beer from a stranger and gulps it down.
  • A women drinks beer.
  • In a couple of scenes Doug tells how he used to get high a lot when he was younger.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “Eskimo hooker;” “…sounds like a car alarm that shits;” “Shut up;” “Crapped all over the seat;” “Moron;” “Bitch;” “Hell;” “It’s in my skin bitch;” “Numb nuts;” ‘Cheap-arse wife;” “Thanks for waiting jerks;” “Shut up arsehole;” “You got balls;” “Screw you;” “Son of a bitch;” “Shit;” “Holy shit;” “My balls are still vibrating;” “Get your arse whipped;” “You don’t expect me to pay for that warm piss;” “Stupid arse;” “Cracker arse;” “You’ll be taking out a loan just to piss;” “I’ll beat shit down;” “Screw up;” “You’re an arse holes arse hole;” “We don’t want to piss them off;” “Holy crap;” “What the hell;” “F…ing bad (word beeped out).”        

In a nutshell

Wild Hogs is a predictable comedy aimed at an adult audience, but the actors chosen to play the main characters, together with the film’s subject matter may make the film appealing to a wider range of audience including younger adolescents. The main messages from this movie are:

  • Not to let the commitments and pressures of everyday life take control to the point where you have no fun and adventure.
  • Not letting fear control your life.
  • Recognising, valuing and making a commitment to long time friendships.
  • People should band together to triumph over adversity.

Parents may also wish to discuss the homophobia seen in the film.

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