More About Hot Rod
Amateur suburban stunt man Rod Kimble (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE's Andy Samberg) believes he's destined to follow in the footsteps of his late father, who made test runs of Evel Knievel's stunts before the better-known daredevil repeated them and took all the glory. Kimble risks life and limb strictly for fun and the entertainment of the neighborhood kids, but when his macho stepfather, Frank (DEADWOOD's Ian McShane)--who repeatedly beats and belittles Rod in basement sparring matches--develops a life-threatening heart ailment, Rod attempts the biggest jump of his career to raise the $50,000 necessary to get Frank a heart transplant so that he can have one last chance to fight Frank and prove his manhood.
HOT ROD establishes its mission statement early on when Rod pedals his moped past a Salvation Army thrift store in his sloppily hand-decorated costume. Seemingly inspired by NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, THE KARATE KID, and the HAPPY DAYS episode in which the Fonz attempts to jump his motorcycle over 14 garbage cans, director Akiva Schaffer (Samberg's longtime cohort in the online comedy venture THE LONELY ISLAND) sets Pam Brady's (TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE) screenplay in what seems like the mid-1980's (complete with Europe-heavy hair metal soundtrack), though allowing for the existence of the Internet and Vitamin Water. The simple plotline is merely a jumping-off point for a series of failed stunts and often hilarious non-sequiturs. Samberg is likeable in his first starring role, but he is more than equaled by a supporting cast including SNL's Bill Hader, Danny McBride, fellow Lonely Islander Jorma Taccone, and Isla Fisher (WEDDING CRASHERS), who comprise Rod's loyal crew. McShane chews the retro scenery when onscreen and the always-welcome Sissy Spacek lends credibility to the proceedings in her few scenes as Rod's mom.
Main Cast & Crew
Akiva Schaffer - Director
Danny R. McBride
- Format: DVD
- Run Time: 87
- Color Format: Color
- UPC: 032429281517
- Genre: Comedy
- Rating: PG-13 (MPAA) (crude humor, language, some comic drug-related and violent content)
- Release Date: November 2007
Theatrical Release: August 3, 2007
3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here's a lot to enjoy....The best moments are musical, like a Footloose-spoofing sequence....Well worth checking out." - 10/01/2007 Empire, p.52
3 stars out of 5 -- "[With a] so-bad-it's brilliant '80s soundtrack....Sweet-spirited at heart..." - 11/01/2007 Total Film, p.50