VOD film review: Hot Rod
Did we mention laughs?9
Andrew Jones | On 09, Jan 2014
Director: Akiva Schaffer
Cast: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Bill Hader, Isla Fisher
Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone lead a film by Akiva Schaffer. If you’re not entirely sure who these people are, perhaps the collective name The Lonely Island will make you remember. Hot Rod is, for all intents and purposes, a Lonely Island film, just one that happens to be written by Pam Brady (a writer on South Park, its movie and Team America: World Police) so, naturally, there’s a really off-beat feel to it.
Hot Rod is about an amateur stuntman (Samberg) who tasks himself with raising funds for his stepfather Ian McShane’s surgery, despite them both hating each other completely, by jumping buses on his bike. Thing is, Rod is an amateur in every possible sense – he’s probably the worst stuntman in the world – and despite a crew helping him, including Danny McBride, Bill Hader and Isla Fisher, he’s as likely to make the funds as he is to not embarrass himself at every opportunity.
Hot Rod never really made it in the wider world. It’s a super silly film with a flexible reality, a sketch-comedy tone, and at the time, a cast of Saturday Night Live and alt-comedy folk who hadn’t truly made it big. Watching the film, it’s a mystery why people are yet to find this gem and comprehend just how amazing it is. From a Footloose spoof to a very stupid “Cool Beans” back and forth sequence that is solely there to show how good Samberg and Taccone are at exchanging two words, it’s hard to nail down the type of comedy in the film but it’s definitely the good kind.
A brisk 88 minutes packed full of jokes and odd characters, Hot Rod is a modern classic, one that deserves much more attention than it’ll ever get. So watch Hot Rod and be ahead of the curve. Be the cool kid who discovers this film out of your group of friends and endlessly quotes it until everyone becomes sick of not understanding what you’re saying. Get on board, join Rod’s crew, and party.