Hot Rod is a 2007 comedy starring Andy Samberg as Rod Kimble, an amateur stuntman desperately seeking approval from his dying stepfather. Rod spends his days doing various jumps and stunts with his inept crew, which includes his friends Rico and Dave (Danny McBride and Bill Hader) and his half-brother Kevin (Jorma Taccone). He finds out that his stepfather will die unless they somehow get $50,000 to pay for his conveniently priced surgery. Rods vows to save him so he can smash his face in and finally earn his respect. He starts doing stunts to raise money, with the ultimate goal of jumping fifteen school buses in front of a sellout crowd. There’s also a subplot involving Rod trying to get the attention of Denise (Isla Fisher), the girl next door. She’s stuck in a relationship with a douchebag (Will Arnett), but she can’t deny her attraction to Rod.
The whole movie is pretty ridiculous. It’s reminiscent of Judd Apatow movies, in that it’s character driven and highly quotable, but there are many fantastic, over the top moments. Like when the inspirational march to the final jump spontaneously erupts into chaos. Hot Rod was a box office bomb when it came out. I think the world wasn’t ready for it. It’s becoming a cult classic; some would argue it already is.
Critically Rated at 14/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young