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Hot Rod a Stunt that Both Hits and Misses

Published August 2, 2007 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Paramount Pictures.
Hot Rod Poster Hot Rod
Hot Rod is probably going to be like Billy Madison where it grows on me after multiple viewings. Iím not saying Iím going to love it as much as Billy. I think Billy left a better impression on me the first time. But there are things in it Iíll want to see again, and it may flow better as a whole when I know whatís coming.

Movie Review: Hot Rod

Andy Samberg plays wannabe stuntman Rod, who takes outrageous falls in his failed stunts. Heís trying to live up to his fatherís legacy and win over his tough stepdad. He rolls with a group of weirdos who all add their own quirks to the antics as they train to Ď80s rock.

The film is full of love and irreverence for the sports movie genre. Montages have good rhythm and get interrupted by non sequiturs. There is plenty of inappropriate humor that shocks the status quo of movie comedy. As a collection of episodes, each individual scene works but perhaps would be better as webisodes than a whole film.

The main problem with Hot Rod is that the trailer is edited way funnier than the actual movie. The film opens with the most outrageous injury so thatís bad pacing. Things drag on uncomfortably long but not in a clever Austin Powers way. Everyone is trying to be a character, though things like the dancing Asian do grow on you by the end.

Another problem is I donít believe Samberg is this uncool. Heís just acting. I believe Adam Sandler is a gibberish-talking weirdo. I believe Will Ferrell is an eternally positive elf or a self-important newsman. I just think Andy Samberg is a cool guy who steals the show on SNL but heís pretending to be the everyman underdog loser because thatís what sells.

That said, there are plenty of lines Iíll be quoting. By the third act, I really wanted Rod to succeed. Well, I still wanted to see him get mangled, but in a cool enough way that he gets the girl and beats his stepdad. Thatís why I think I should see it again. Maybe it took 60-70 minutes to get the tone and now I can fully appreciate the whole work.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Paramount Pictures.

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