Rated PG-13 for crude humor, language, some comic drug-related and violent content.
Directed By: Akiva Shaffer
Written By: Pam Brady
Staring: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Isla Fisher, Sissy Spacek, Ian McShane, and Will Arnett
I used to be legit. I was too legit. I was too legit to quit. but now I’m not legit. I’m unlegit. And for that reason, I must quit. -Rod Kimble
There is little rhyme or reason to this film that is so bizarre the closest thing I could say it’s akin to is Napoleon Dynamite. Led by socially awkward character’s with goals that beseech other goals, with what ensues to be a random series of events to achieve those goals. To save Frank, Rod’s Step-Dad is the catalyst for this strange movie, that turns out to be gut busting funny.
The first scene is an all out battle between stepfather and stepson in which the stepfather, Frank, gives Rod a good old fashioned butt kicking. The bungling Rod resents his defeat and vows to punch him in the face upon their next meeting. His real father, who had passed away, was a heroic stuntman, and Rod’s real passion is to be just like his father. When Frank is need of a life-saving heart operation, Rod vows to raise money by jumping fifteen buses to raise money to save his heart, so he can kick his butt in their next fight. The problem is, Rod’s not exactly the most experienced or best stuntman, in fact, he kind of sucks.
The rest of the film follows Rod nearly killing himself trying to raise the money to save his step-dad to fight him. The slap stick is totally appropriate and looks pretty original. The footloose scene with the rolling hill is par with a betterSNL skit, and is completely relentless in it’s comedic execution, along with many other scenes where Rod is completely oblivious to the fact that he is constantly humiliating himself. His attraction to thehottie next door results in even more awkwardly hilarious moments, and interactions with her snobby white collar boyfriend played by Will Arnett.
The dialogue in Hot Rod is extremely funny, but the execution by it’s stars is where the real brilliance comes in. Their commitment to their character’s made the story seem almost relatively plausible considering the content, and by the finale you are totally sold cheering on Rod Kimble yourself. It’s so ridiculous that if you try and take anything about this movie seriously, you deserve to be disappointed.
Hot Rod may not appeal to everyone, with it’s weird humor, strange character’s, and it’s unconventional delivery. It practiced a few of the beats of that typical comedy, but strayed far enough away that it was barely recognizable. This was definitely a success in the comedy section, and a massive relief to me, who has been gravely disappointed in the comedy genre for the past many years. This film is for those that think outside the box and like a little originality. Good flick.