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Movie rating system (0-2) The movie is balls (2-4) A few moments but mostly bad (4-5.5) Entertaining film but lacking something to make it good. (6-7.5) A recommendation meaning a good solid watch. (8-10) must watch films, they are usually leaders in their respective genre. I can also be found on Facebook or follow my blog at the bottom of this page. THERE MAY BE MINI SPOILERS AHEAD!!! But there will be no endings/twists/cameos/or large plot reveals given.

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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Hot Rod

Hot Rod
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 88 minutes
Starring: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Will Arnett, Isla Fisher, Sissy Spacek, Ian McShane
Directed By: Akiva Schaffer
Rating: 7 out of 10
An amateur stuntman must raise enough money for a medical procedure for his sick stepdad.

I know I know how I can ridicule such movies as Napoleon Dynamite and Anchorman and still am able to enjoy a film like this. I am not sure I have an answer for you. All I know was this movie is just an oddball collection of hilarious scene after hilarious scene. The story focuses on permanent man-child Rod Kimble. He is an amateur stuntman and needs to raise money to pay for a medical procedure for his abusive Step Dad. If you are wondering is this the whole story? than I am here to tell you yes it is. In fact I don’t think I would have liked the film half as much if they tried anything other than a plot that is as dumb as the characters are.

First things first grab a Thesaurus and look up the word ridiculous. All the synonyms you find beside it can easily be used to describe this movie. Is it going blow your mind with gripping characters and a Pulitzer worthy script? Nothing can be farther from that question than this movie. What it will do is keep you very entertained for a couple of hours. The film’s opening scene will tell you all there is to know about the film and the lead character Rod Kimble. It is one of the greatest opening scenes ever rivaling Saving Private Ryan as Rod tries to jump a van on a moped with pedals. This film is not always that shockingly violent like the opening scene was but the humor never stops. The film just presents wave after wave of weird scenes at you. I found it more akin to watching sketch comedy. Because the story was so poor it seemed each of the funny bits happened in short 2-3 minute sketches and it totally worked for me. Nothing was better than Rod and his group of friends prepping for the grand finale stunt though. Blowing himself up with dynamite, jumping pools, holding his breath under water, and a multitude of other events is all in a day’s work for a failure of a stuntman but it works somehow.

The lead character Rod Kimble played by Andy Samberg was hilarious. He kind of looks like a cross between Sidney Crosby the hockey player and the actor Jason Biggs. He has an adult body with a kid’s mentality down to a science. He delivers his lines for the most part by yelling at the screen and I never got tired of it. There is something genius about a simple man doing all kinds of stunts for money. Samberg will do anything for a laugh including an homage scene to the movie Footloose in the forest. His friends are all funny guys and seem to fit seamlessly into this movie. His friends played by Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Jorma Taccone who are all accomplished comedians in their own right let Samberg shine in all the right places. It is not to say they were not funny because they all certainly were they just never stole the leads thunder. The always cute Isla Fisher does an admirable job as basically the only adult in the group named Denise. While not particularly funny Denise is no doubt a nice contributor to the story. The usually solid Will Arnett was a disappointment for me in a limited role as Denise’s obnoxious boyfriend.

Somehow throughout the craziness of this film you want Rod Kimble to succeed in raising the money. Not in a feeling invoked way or even an inspired way but more in the underdog status he has heaped on himself way. 4 grown men should have one voice of reason but that would not work in this film. Nothing is off limits in this film and don’t be surprised when you find yourself laughing when you should be just shaking your head in bewilderment. I easily could stand to watch a second of these films.

Director Akiva Schaffer does not disappoint in his feature film debut. Not to say this film was a challenge by any stretch of the imagination but he seems to know his target audience. With his work on SNL and the Lonely Island comedy team he clearly had a vision for this film and I think it worked for the most part. The film is never slow and even when it seemed like it was too out there it would always correct itself somehow. Overall a solid job on a film that should not have worked but did.

I give this movie a surprising recommendation to low brow comedy lovers and people who like things quirky and crazy. Some people might turn their noses up at this film I just say it is Cool Beans!

T Factor + If you are fan of Lonely Island skits this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – Do not like stupid humor this could score way lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: Zoolander, Napoleon Dynamite

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