Plot: Grant (Jon Cryer), Biscuit (Daniel Roebuck), and Milo (Flea) are punk rockers who live in New York City, but long for a change of pace and a fresh start. When Milo suggests they just pick up and head to California, his friends are hesitant, but soon give in and an epic road trip begins. With little money but a lot of heart, the trio embark on their path and soon encounter Daredelvis (Pete Willcox), an Elvis impersonator/daredevil who is broken down on the side of the road. As if that colorful start wasn’t crazy enough, an encounter with some sadistic gang members threatens to end the road trip before it really gets started. The gang robs the punk rockers and even guns down Milo, but Grant and Biscuit manage to survive and escape. But they haven’t forgotten about their friend and they are determined to settle the score, even if they have no idea how to go about doing that. As they pursue the killers, they encounter a host of colorful folks, but will they ever avenge their friend’s death?
Entertainment Value: Dudes is a unique, highly interesting movie that blends buddy comedy, road movies, westerns, and punk rock to conjure up a mystical, one of a kind film experience. The premise might be an odd one, but the writing is quite good and takes our quirky characters on a nice growth arc. Jon Cryer and Daniel Roebuck have the leads and do well, especially when they banter with each other, as the chemistry is good between them. They make an odd pair, but it works and seeing how they interact with the assorted colorful characters they encounter is a big reason why Dudes is able to entertain. I also loved Catherine Mary Stewart here, as she is fun to watch as a bad ass gunslinger, while Lee Ving gives us a more than capable villain. The blend of genres and refusal to follow conventions might alienate some viewers, but I think the bold choices paid off and help Dudes stand out. If you’re a fan of westerns, you’ll notice a lot of nods to genre staples and see them bent in new ways. I do think Dudes is sometimes a little too odd for its own good, but I also think it is a fun movie that brings a creative vision and is well worth a look.
No nakedness. A little blood at times, but not much. The movie features some shoot outs and has some splashy squibs involved, but the spurts aren’t excessive and never overly graphic. Also has some roughhousing and a diner brawl with punks versus cowboys, but it is just good old fashioned fisticuffs. The dialogue is sharp and well written, with a nice fatalist slant at times. At the same time, the tone is mostly upbeat, so don’t expect a down, emo type experience. A good amount of quirky lines and quotable exchanges, but not a lot of big ticket lines. Even so, the dialogue is consistently entertaining and often has fun banter, so no complaints. The movie has a unique premise and approach, which leads to some offbeat moments and an almost mystical feel. So while not over the top or overly bizarre, it is a weird movie that makes some interesting choices. So I am awarding a few points just for the creative touches and odd moments.
Overall Insanity: 3/10