Hot Rod (12A)



Comedy (2007)
87mins US

Starring: Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Ian McShane, Sissy Spacek
Director: Akiva Schaffer
Writer(s): Pam Brady
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Self-professed stuntman Rod Kimble has plenty of enthusiasm but his attempts to fly through the air on his motorcycle usually end in disaster. When his bullying father falls ill and the family needs $50,000 for a heart transplant, Rod pledges to jump 15 buses to raise the cash, with a little support from pretty next-door neighbour Denise.

Seen that movie? Leave a comment / review here >>

Watch trailer

LondonNet Film Review
Hot Rod

There is something oddly sweet and charming about Hot Rod, a hare-brained comedy pitched somewhere between Talladega Nights and Napoleon Dynamite, that welcomes Saturday Night Live alumnus Andy Samberg to the big screen...

Perhaps it's the childish innocence and unwavering optimism of the lead character - a wannabe stuntman - as he accelerates towards disaster, convinced that glory is within his grasp. Perhaps it's Pam Brady's screenplay, peppered with nonsensical one-liners and catchphrases ("Cool beans!") Perhaps it's the surreal interludes like a mass brawl, which suddenly mellows into a full cast sing-song, all of the extras joining together in a rousing rendition of John Farnham's anthem "You're The Voice". For reasons that defy rational explanation, Akiva Schaffer's film works, delivering plentiful chuckles and a smattering of romance.

Self-professed stuntman Rod Kimble (Samberg) has plenty of enthusiasm but his attempts to fly through the air on his moped usually end in disaster. He is desperate to screech in the tyre-tracks of his dead biological father, the test-rider for Evel Knievel, who perished in a blaze of glory well before his time. Instead, Rod has to suffer constant beatings at the hand of his bullying stepfather Frank (Ian McShane) and disdain from his weedy stepbrother Kevin (Jorma Taccone). Only his mother, Marie (Sissy Spacek), inspires him to greatness, encouraging him to chase his dream with his ramshackle stunt team: mechanic Dave (Bill Hader) and ramp builder and video camera operator Rico (Danny McBride).

When Frank falls ill and the family needs USD50,000 for a heart transplant, Rod pledges to jump 15 buses - one more than his idol - to raise the cash. "I'm going to get you better, then I'm going to beat you to death," Rod promises his stepfather. Romance blossoms when Rod introduces pretty next-door neighbour Denise (Isla Fisher) to the team. Unfortunately, she already has a boyfriend, Jonathan (Will Arnett), an egotistical oaf who treats her like dirt. Perhaps winning Denise's heart will be one leap of faith too far for the usually fearless Rod? Hot Rod starts slowly, taking a good 30 minutes to find some tread, but once the eponymous daredevil begins his quest to raise USD50,000, we're rooting for the misfit to defy the odds (and gravity).

Samberg is an appealing leading man, with bountiful charm and good looks that he keeps concealed behind his hapless hero's fake facial hair. "All great men have moustaches," argues Rod. "Yes, but they grow them," counters his stepfather. "You know I have a hormone deficiency," retorts the boy blunder. McShane overacts wildly while Fisher merely smiles sweetly as the cute girl next door, who cannot mask her disappoint when Rod nervously pops the question: "Who you think would win in a fight between a grilled cheese sandwich and a taco?" Rod's attempt to jump the 15 school buses provides the grandstand finale.

- Sam Cannon

Trailer

Quicktime Low | Medium | High
Windows Media Player Low | Medium | High
Realplayer Low | Medium | High


London Cinemas

From Friday 14th June
To Thursday 20th June

- Roof East
From Friday 21st June
To Thursday 27th June

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


« Back to Index

Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 14th June
To Thursday 20th June

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.
From Friday 21st June
To Thursday 27th June

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.


« Back to Index